published Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Chattanooga Police name teen killed in accident

6559 Fairview Rd
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Speed was a factor in the wreck that left two teens dead and one in critical condition Thursday evening.

A 16-year-old girl was found dead when police arrived and Timothy Katafias, 18, died after being taken to Erlanger hospital. Craig Albert Lemay, 18, was in critical condition Friday evening at Erlanger.

Officials would not release the identity of the 16-year-old on Friday.

Investigators said the passengers weren't wearing seat belts when their 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis went airborne at 6559 Fairview Road near Chickamauga Lake at 5 p.m. The northbound car then struck two trees before coming to a stop as it hit a third head-on, causing the tree to fall on the car.

Firefighters cut the tree off the car, found the girl dead and transported the other two to Erlanger, Atkinson said.

Police are investigating which of the three was driving and what other factors contributed to the wreck.

"The dynamics of what went on in that split second takes months to analyze," Sgt. Mark Kimsey said.

Kimsey said that among other tests, investigators need to examine the car, analyze blood samples and make scale diagrams of the crash before any conclusions are reached.

Accidents aren't unusual for that area, according to Fairview Road resident Ray Weir, who said he's seen about nine in the 16 years he's lived there.

"When you come over the hill, it slopes a little bit to the right and if you're going 60 or 70 miles per hour the car tends to leave the road," he said. "I think if they flatten that out, take that slope off of it, it'd maybe save some lives."

This is the second double-fatal traffic accident in the county this week. Two died in an accident on state Highway 60 in the Birchwood area Tuesday.

Contact Carey O'Neil at coneil@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525.

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