published Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Brothers and toddler die in Rhea County crash

  • photo
    Accident investigators used orange spray paint to mark points along the skidding track of a fatal crash on Back Valley Road in Dayton, Tenn., Sunday.
    Photo by Photo by Kimberly McMillian

DAYTON, Tenn. — Nichole Sink sat at her son’s bedside at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger on Sunday night, listening to 8-month-old Caydan burble.

“At least I didn’t lose everybody,” she said.

Caydan was the only survivor of a Sunday crash that took the lives of Sink’s fiancé, Michael Crawley; their other son, Logan, 4, and Michael’s 17-year-old brother, Christopher Hunter Johnson.

Sink wasn’t in the car when it left the road, hit a brick mailbox post and turned over in the 2900 block of Back Valley Road in Dayton.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, according to Rhea County dispatchers. The THP did not release any information Sunday.

Crawley’s sister, Christina Cruz, and friend, Nikki Sizemore, paced along the road at the crash site Sunday afternoon and studied the orange spray paint markings detailing the crash site.

“[Michael] had a big heart … and would help a stranger,” Sizemore said, shaking her head as tears rolled down her cheeks.

The crash happened at Shannon Butler’s house and rolled her brick and concrete-block mailbox across her driveay. She was coming home shortly after 2:30 and came upon the police and emergency vehicles. She waited in her car for more than 45 minutes until police let her get past and into a secondary driveway.

She wouldn’t be surprised if the white Chevy Lumina was speeding, she said.

“That’s just a common thing,” she said. “People fly down this road.”

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