Foothills Pkwy Closed After Fatal Wreck Near Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park
BLOUNT COUNTY, GA. – September 19, 2018 (wvlt.tv) Foothills Parkway was closed September 17 after a single-vehicle collision near Great Smoky Mountains National Park killed three women. The story is reported online at wvlt.tv.*
At approximately 4:15 p.m. on September 17, 47-year-old Kimberly Wallace Shields, of Jackson, Georgia, was driving a 2017 Mazda M6 eastbound on Foothills Parkway. Near East Lamar Alexander Parkway, Shields attempted to navigate a slight curve in the road and lost control of the vehicle. Her Mazda traveled off the right side of the roadway and struck a tree head-on.
Weather conditions that day might have contributed to the accident, as it was raining, and the roadway was wet. After impact with the tree, the passenger and engine compartments of the Mazda caught on fire. Shields died at the scene. Two passengers in her vehicle also died at the scene. They have been identified by officials as Shields’ sister, 45-year-old Shannon Rae Wallace, of Jackson, and Shields’s mother, 70-year-old Linda Gayle James, of Jackson.
Emergency personnel responding to the scene said all three women were deceased when they arrived. They could not tell whether the crash or resulting fire was the immediate cause of death. The Mazda was “heavily involved in flames” when firefighters arrived at 4:20 p.m., and the interior was completely burned, according to Blount County Fire Chief Doug McClanahan.
Firefighters had the fire under control before 4:30 p.m., but Foothills Parkway remained closed from East Lamar Alexander Parkway to Calderwood Highway until about 9:15 p.m. that day. The Blount County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the collision and has not yet released additional information. No other vehicles were involved.
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