Blount County Sheriff's Office increasing patrols after 8 deadly

Blount County Sheriff's Office increasing patrols after 8 deadly crashes in 2 months

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Blount County officials are stepping up patrols after eight deadly crashes in just two months. Blount County officials are stepping up patrols after eight deadly crashes in just two months.
Angel Cooper's grandparents are heartbroken, losing their only grandchild in a car crash on Rocky Branch Road two weeks ago Monday. Angel Cooper's grandparents are heartbroken, losing their only grandchild in a car crash on Rocky Branch Road two weeks ago Monday.
By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) - Blount County officials are dealing with a problem that may make you second guess your safety on the road. In a span of just two months, there have been eight deadly crashes reported in the county, one of which happened just Monday afternoon. 

Two of them happened on Highway 321, with three of the others on Highway 129, also known as the Dragon.

Related story: Walland man killed, 4 others injured in Blount County car crash

In six out of the seven fatal crashes, the sheriff's office says the driver was killed, but in each case they say the accident was avoidable.

Angel Cooper's grandparents are heartbroken, losing their only grandchild in a car crash on Rocky Branch Road two weeks ago Monday.

"I'll never get over this, I don't guess as long as I live. Never, she was my life," said Cooper's grandmother Mary Cooper.

Investigators with Blount County Sheriff's Office believe alcohol may have played a role in Cooper's crash, though it's one of eight fatal car crashes in the county since May.

"This is very worrisome mostly because speed is very controllable. That's one thing the driver can control is the speed. And speed right now has been the number one factor with intoxication being a very close second," said Lieutenant Randy Ailey with Blount County Sheriff's Office.

Patrol officers are doing what they can to stop the problem.

"We have increased patrols, we're doing saturation especially on Friday and Saturday when most of the intoxicated drivers are out. We've increased our patrols on US 129," added Lieutenant Ailey.

Deputies say ultimately it's up to drivers, advising they should slow down and not drink and drive.

Previous story: Maryville woman killed in car accident on Rocky Branch Road

For those who have lost loved ones, like the Coopers, they simply ask everyone to be careful.

"I miss her, my heart aches for her. I miss her so much," said Cooper.

We've learned so far this year there have been a total of 11 fatalities countywide. The sheriff's office says this time last year there were a total of nine fatalities.

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