UPDATED: Fatal traffic accidents in Chattanooga

UPDATED: Fatal traffic accidents in Chattanooga

May 18th, 2011 by Kate Harrison Belz in Local - Breaking News

Chattanooga Police work a fatal wreck in the 3400 block of Brainerd Road after a Ford Taurus hit the back of a Dodge Stratus, sending it into a brick wall. The Taurus then spun hit a pole across the street.

Within one hour, two separate car wrecks claimed the lives of two people in Chattanooga tonight, police say.

The first wreck happened around 6:30 p.m., when a plum-colored Ford Taurus traveling east bound on Brainerd Road at a high rate of speed slammed into the back of white Dodge Stratus waiting in an east bound turn lane to turn onto Tunnel Blvd. near the 3400 block on Brainerd, according to police spokeswoman Jerri Weary.

The Taurus then continued across west bound lanes and crashed into a utility pole holding up the sign for Playoffs Sports Bar.

"We heard it all the way inside the bar," said Dustin Rogers, a cook at Playoffs. He said everal people inside the restaurant ran out to find the two mangled cars.

"We gave them some towels, and a few people in the bar and some of our customers offered medical assistance," Rogers said.

But it was too late to help the elderly woman who had been driving the Taurus. She died en route to the hospital, Weary reported.

"It is possible that she suffered a medical emergency prior to the crash," Weary said.

The driver of the Stratus was transported to a local hospital with head injuries however, her current condition is not known.

The second crash happened an hour later at 7680 Noah Reid Road. Witnesses told police that a Chevy Cavalier occupied by two men lost control, and veered off the road, striking a tree. The driver was killed upon impact, and the passenger was taken to a local hospital with injuries, including a broken arm, Weary said.

Police are still investigating what caused the car to leave the roadway, but Weary said speed is a possible factor.

Names of those involved have not yet been released pending notification of family.