published Saturday, January 25th, 2014

2 die when Corvette hits tree in Bradley County

Two men died Friday afternoon on North Lee Highway in Bradley County, Tenn., after their Chevrolet Corvette crashed into a tree, ejecting them.

"It ended up in two pieces," Bradley County Sheriff's Office spokesman Bob Gault said of the two-seater sports car that crashed in the Bellefonte community between the cities of Cleveland and Charleston.

The victims' names weren't released Friday evening pending notification of next of kin.

The 911 call came in at 1:38 p.m., Gault said. The Corvette was heading north when the driver apparently lost control, crossed the two-lane highway and hit a tree on the southbound side of the road, he said.

It doesn't appear that the driver was intoxicated, Gault said.

"They don't suspect impairment, but possibly speed was a factor," he said.

Investigators hadn't yet determined Friday evening whether the men had safety belts on. The Corvette's passenger compartment was in a small creek next to the road, Gault said.

"The back of the car was up against the tree," he said.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.

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