published Monday, December 5th, 2011

Man killed in St. Elmo car crash


by Naomi Jagoda
A worker picks up debris next to a tree scarred from car's impact early Sunday. Chattanooga police said speed and alcohol contributed to a fatal crash on Tennessee Avenue in St. Elmo. The Chevy Camaro hit several trees, a parked car and a house. Passenger James M. Travillian, 23, was thrown from the car and died at the scene. Driver Robert Atwood, 21, was treated and released at a local hospital.
A worker picks up debris next to a tree scarred from car's impact early Sunday. Chattanooga police said speed and alcohol contributed to a fatal crash on Tennessee Avenue in St. Elmo. The Chevy Camaro hit several trees, a parked car and a house. Passenger James M. Travillian, 23, was thrown from the car and died at the scene. Driver Robert Atwood, 21, was treated and released at a local hospital.
Naomi Jagoda
4200 block St. Elmo Avenue
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Dan Basler was in bed around 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning when a car hit his house on Tennessee Avenue in St. Elmo.

"We heard a boom," he said. Quickly, he grabbed his daughter and took her out of her room, where the crashed car broke a window.

The green Chevrolet Camaro looked like it jumped the curb, jumped a neighbor's wall, bounced off a tree and hit his truck before it struck the house, Basler said.

The crash killed James Travillian, 23, who was thrown from the car. The driver, Robert Atwood, 21, was treated and released at a local hospital, Chattanooga police spokeswoman Jerri Weary said in a news release.

Speed and alcohol are believed to have been contributing factors, she said. No charges have been filed, but the investigation continues.

Weary said Basler's house suffered no major damage from the accident.

The Camaro knocked Basler's blue Chevrolet Blazer off his driveway, where it was parked before the accident, he said.

"It's totaled, I'm pretty sure," Basler said.

Basler said he did not know how much it will cost to repair his truck and house.

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