UPDATED:Three dead, baby airlifted to Erlanger in Dayton crash - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATED: Three dead, baby airlifted to Erlanger in Dayton crash

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RHEA COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- Three people are dead after the car they were in crashes into a large brick mailbox. It happened Sunday afternoon on Back Valley Road in Dayton.

"They moved that mailbox from one side of the driveway all the way to the other," says Ralph Higgins.

Just after 1:30 Sunday afternoon, Tennessee Highway Patrol says 23-year-old Michael Crawley was driving south on Back Valley Road in a '99 4-door Chevy car.

Skid marks show where he lost control, slamming into this brick mailbox.

"It weighs about 3,000 pounds," says Higgins.

Higgins knows because he built the mailbox.

"It was broadsided when he hit it. According to the look of the car."

Also in the car, 17-year-old Christopher Johnson, 3-year-old Logan Crawley and 8-month-old Cayden Crawley.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol says a bystander removed Cayden from the car, still in his car seat. He was airlifted to Erlanger.

"The other three in the car, they were already dead. They was just waiting for the jaws of life to cut them out," says Higgins.

Higgins goes on to say, "It's kind of a windy road but right through here it's a stretch."

That is when Higgins says people are tempted to speed.

The crash report says speed was a factor in the accident.

"We've sat on the front porch up there and they come through here. We've hollered at them sometimes to slow down but I don't what the speed limit's through here. I think it's 30, 35, maybe."

State troopers say it is posted as 45 but sharp curves are marked 15 mph.

Higgins says his heart goes out to the victim's families.

"And I just hate it for the family. I wish them my best condolences and everything, and you know, maybe it won't happen to somebody else," says Higgins.

He says it will be hard to forget what he saw.

"Water don't wash this away. It's gonna be, the thought will be forever, you know?"

We contacted Erlanger to check on the condition of 8-month-old Cayden Crawley, but have not heard back.

As part of the investigation, the driver is being tested to see if drugs or alcohol were in his system but according to the accident report, right now speed appears to be the main factor.

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