Three killed in yet another wrong-way collision on Highway 11-W in Hawkins County

Jeff Bobo • Jun 30, 2018 at 11:34 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Wrong-way traffic on Highway 11-W in Rogersville is on the verge of becoming an epidemic, and on Friday night it cost three people their lives.

The incident was the fourth serious wrong-way crash on 11-W in Hawkins County in the past year and the third to result in a fatality.

Friday’s three-vehicle accident occurred just west of the West Main Street intersection. There is no median or barrier separating the eastbound and westbound lanes of the highway in that area. 

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, around 10:09 p.m. an eastbound 1999 Chevy Silverado driven by David E. Kelley Jr., 53, Kingsport, crossed the turn lane into oncoming traffic on 11-W and struck a westbound 2002 Chevy Cavalier driven by Deborah Lynn Kimberlin, 37, of Jonesville.

The Cavalier came to rest in the eastbound lanes of the highway.

Trooper Dylan Reid stated in his report that the Silverado then rolled over, became airborne, and landed on the front end of an eastbound 2007 BMW driven by Jeremy D. Pell, 41, of Rogersville.

Three of the Cavalier’s occupants were killed. The THP identified the victims, all of them from Jonesville, as Kimberlin; Jimmy Kimberlin, 67; and Nancy L. Kimberlin, 51. A fourth passenger in the Cavalier, a 14 year old girl, was flown out by wings air rescue.

Kelley, who was the lone occupant of his vehicle was injured, as were Pell and his passenger Stephanie Pell, 34, Rogersville..

Reid stated in his report that charges are pending.

Other recent wrong-way crashes

On July 16, 2017, Gloria Jean Barnett, 66, of Augusta, Ga., was killed in a head-on crash that occurred while her son, Heywood Parkey, 47, of Kingsport, was reportedly driving the wrong way on Highway 11-W in Church Hill.

Parkey has not been charged in connection with that crash.

On Oct. 20, 2017, Remonia Blevins of Rogersville was driving westbound in the eastbound lane of 11-W in Mooresburg when she reportedly collided with a 2009 Ford Ranger, killing her passenger, Bobby Lewis, 42, of Rogersville.

Blevins was indicted earlier this month on one count of vehicular homicide.

On Jan. 15, 2018, a 2008 Hyundai Tiburon driven by Nicholas Ray Gross, 38, reportedly pulled out of a market in Surgoinsville driving the wrong way in the westbound lanes of 11-W and struck two westbound vehicles in front of Volunteer High School in Church Hill, injuring one person.

Gross was indicted earlier this month on numerous charges including reckless aggravated assault.

Highway closed for hours Friday night

Multiple fire and rescue departments responded to the crash scene. They included the Rogersville and Striggersville fire departments, Hawkins County Rescue Squad, Church Hill Rescue Squad, Hawkins County EMS, Hawkins County EMA, the Rogersville Police Department, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, two Wings Air Rescue helicopters and TDOT. 

The highway was closed for several hours for extrication and cleanup.

Westbound lanes reopened around 2 a.m, and eastbound lanes reopened around 3 a.m.


Related story:

No shortage of tragedy recently on Hawkins County's stretch of 11-W