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Update: Wilcox crash spurred by driver falling asleep

Staff report • Updated Dec 5, 2018 at 12:46 PM

KINGSPORT — An early morning, single-vehicle wreck that closed Wilcox Drive for several hours was triggered by a motorist falling asleep behind the wheel, according to police.

The incident occurred at about 4 a.m. in the 1000 block, downing a utility pole and dropping power lines across the roadway. Traffic was then blocked from going in either direction — creating morning rush hour traffic congestion — and the road wasn’t reopened until about 2 p.m.

Kingsport police say the wreck involved a 2001 Toyota Camry. It was northbound when it veered to the left, crossed oncoming lanes and struck a utility pole on the other side of the road. The car then went down an embankment before coming to a stop.

The driver, identified as Molly E. Tinkham, 28, of Kingsport, was checked at the scene for possible injuries by EMS but declined transportation to the hospital. She told police that she had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Tinkham was cited for failure to maintain control and failure to have insurance. No other vehicles were involved in the incident.

Update: 10 a.m. 

AEP is telling Kingsport police that work to replace a utility pole should be completed by noon at the earliest, and 2 p.m. at the latest. Wilcox Drive currently remains closed to through traffic in both directions between Jared Drive and Meadowview Parkway, with power lines across the roadway. 

Later today, police expect to release more information on the wreck that caused the closure. Check back with TimesNews.net for updates when they are available

Previous story: 

An early morning crash has resulted in the closure of the 1000 block of Wilcox Drive, and Kingsport police are asking motorists to avoid the area this morning.

At approximately 4 a.m., Kingsport Police patrol officers responded to a crash with injury in the 1000 block of Wilcox Drive. As a result of this crash, a broken utility pole and downed utility lines are stretched across Wilcox Drive and it is completely closed indefinitely in both directions from Meadowview Parkway to Jared Drive until the roadway can be cleared.

Detours are in the process of being put in place. Motorists, especially morning commuter traffic, should make every possible effort to avoid this area and seek an alternate route.

Anyone already in the immediate area is asked to slow down, pay attention, be patient, and follow all traffic instructions. Specific details regarding the crash itself will not be available until later in the day today.

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