UPDATE: Man killed while mowing grass when truck hit him; 3 teen - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Man killed while mowing grass when truck hit him; 3 teens inside truck also died

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4 teens inside truck that killed man on his lawn mower; Pinson only survivor 4 teens inside truck that killed man on his lawn mower; Pinson only survivor

UPDATE: The Murray County community remembers the four lives lost in Thursday crash through a moment of silence before Friday's game at Murray County High School. 

“I don't think there are words to describe a situation as tragic as the one we are facing,” Principal Gina Linder said.

Both boys, Joshua Roberts and River Sosebee, were students at MCHS.

“Very well know, very popular in our school. Very well known to our faculty and our students,” Linder added.

Family members tell Channel 3 Bryan Bartley, 57, who was hit and killed why mowing the lawn, also graduated from MCHS.

His family did not want to go on camera, but tell Channel 3 he was a genuine, hard-working father of two as well as a grandfather, brother and son.

Bartley worked as the Waste Manager for the City of Dalton for 17 years.

“Tonight's game provides us an opportunity to bring the students together. Most of them have not been together all summer,” Linder said.

As a way to honor all of the lives that were taken too soon.

School leaders tell us there will be counselors on hand at all schools county wide.


Thursday night's accident involving a pickup truck and a lawn mower left four people dead, including three teenagers and the man on the mower. 

The wreck happened near the intersection of Highway 411 and Old CCC Camp Road. Crews from the Georgia State Patrol and from the Murray County Sheriff's Office worked the scene for several hours.

A GSP officer tells Channel 3 the Nissan Titan carrying the four teenagers was speeding down Old CCC Camp Road. The truck's driver, 17-year-old River Sosebee, lost control after a curve and the truck rolled. 

The truck rolled over a riding lawnmower, driven by 57-year-old Bryan Bartley.

Bartley and Sosebee were pronounced dead at the scene. Also pronounced dead at the scene were two passengers in the back seat of Sosebee's truck -- 18-year-old Chelsie Hullender and 17-year-old Joshua Roberts. 

18-year-old Alexis Pinson, was airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center, and is reportedly improving.

Friends of the teenagers know school will not be the same when it resumes next week. 

Blake Terro was a friend of Hollander.

"She never had a dull moment," Terro said.

"She was always happy go lucky."

Mildred Hurst added, "They were all just real nice children."

Hurst says she knew the teens from Homeland Baptist Church in Chatsworth.

Residents who live nearby say the crash happened on a dangerous, windy road. Georgia State Patrol says the driver was likely going too fast. 

"It's all like a snake, especially around there in that area," said Rose Stevenson.

She drove up on the crash when she was on the phone with her granddaughter.  Hearing the news hit too close to home.

"I told her, I said I gotta turn around, I've gotta get off the phone. I said, this is really upsetting me," Stevenson said.

It will likely be a difficult first day of school for Murray County students who go back to class on Tuesday.

Shana Calhoun added, "Because he's not gonna be there. The happy go lucky him is not there. and it's not gonna be the same hallways."

Bartley leaves behind an adult son and daughter as well as one grandchild. 


UPDATE: Students in Murray County have been soaking in the last couple days of summer break, but now they are remembering the lives of three of their classmates.

GSP confirms Bryan Bartley, 57, River Sosebee, 17, Chelsie Hullender, 18, and Joshua Roberts, 17, all died in the crash. Alexis Pinson was flown to Erlanger Hospital.   

Orange paint marks what happened seconds before Thursday's crash on Old CCC Camp Road. But the scene is one that will soften some of Georgia State Patrol's most hardened vets.

“When they're involved, it always.. Because I have children myself and it always gets to you. Yeah, this is about as bad as I've seen,” GSP Corporal Jack Lawrence said.

Four teenagers, two boys and two girls, were riding in a truck just before 5:00 when it lost control and rolled at least once.

“When it rolled over, it hit a gentleman cutting his grass here in the ditch,” Lawrence said.

The man on the mower and three teens were all killed in the crash. One teen was flown to Erlanger Hospital.

Lawrence has 17 years of experience with GSP under his belt and believes speed is what caused this crash.

“We have a very good witness who was traveling directly behind them and it appears speed is a factor in this,” he said.

Despite his career in law enforcement, breaking this kind of news to parents never gets easier. He's a father of two himself.

“It doesn't ever get any easier. One of the parents came out here and I had to talk to them. It's heartbreaking. And this is avoidable,” he added.

Students in Murray County are set to return to school next Tuesday. 

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