published Friday, March 25th, 2011

Highway crash victim tried to warn other cars

A Meigs County man who was killed in a crash on Highway 58 early Thursday morning tried to warn other drivers by starting a fire behind his broken-down truck, authorities said.

Steven Eugene Evans, 37, was traveling south on the highway when his 1984 Toyota pickup truck broke down in the middle of the road between Maggie Lane and Highway 60, said Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Janice Atkinson.

He attempted to burn a garbage bag at the rear of his truck to warn oncoming traffic, but the darkness prevented him from being seen, Atkinson said. A pickup truck driven by Timothy Walden, 29, struck both Evans and his truck just before 6 a.m., she said.

Evans was pronounced dead at the scene, and Walden, of Ten Mile, Tenn., was treated at Erlanger hospital with non life threatening injuries, she said.

Evans had been an employee in the Hamilton County Public Works Department for 16 years, according to Atkinson. He was a road crew leader for the brush cutters who clear roads after debris or trees block them.

“News about Steven Evans passing is truly shocking,” said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger. “Fellow workers today told me that Steven was a dedicated worker who never had a bad word said about him. One person described Steven as a sweetheart, a true Southern gentleman, the nicest guy you would ever meet.”

Evans was a husband and father to three, Coppinger said.

The investigation is being conducted by the sheriff’s office, but at this time it appears no charges will be filed, according to Atkinson.

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