KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two people are dead after a crash with a tree just moments after they nearly collided with a Blount County Sheriff’s deputy early Thursday morning.
Brandon L. Payne, 29, of Knoxville, and Amanda M. Pack, 30, of Knoxville, were pronounced dead at the scene. No sheriff’s deputies were involved in the crash, and no deputies were injured.
According to a social media post by Sheriff James Lee Berrong, a deputy was patrolling on Morganton Road southwest of Maryville around 3:30 a.m. when he entered a curve and a Nissan Versa traveling in the opposite director nearly struck the cruiser head-on.
The deputy turned around in an attempt to perform a traffic stop, but by the time the deputy started in the other direction, the fleeing vehicle was out of his sight. The deputy tried to catch up to the fleeing Versa for approximately five miles, but was unable to catchup with the vehicle before it crashed.
The driver of the Nissan Versa crossed the railroad tracks near Hopewell Road and the vehicle went airborne before striking a tree in a yard. When deputies arrived on the scene, they attempted to render aid to the individuals.
The Sheriff’s Office and Maryville Police Department are investigating.