published Friday, October 4th, 2013

Fatal car crash involving Bradley County teen probed

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- An initial traffic crash report filed after a single-car accident that killed a 13-year-old Bradley County girl indicates that the Ford Mustang's driver had been drinking.

Ciara Alexis Pagan was killed in the Sept. 20 wreck that is under investigation by the Bradley County Sheriff's Office.

The report filed by Deputy Nathan Aly indicates that the driver, Shawn David Toll, 38, of Bryan Circle, had been drinking. That report is not final and will be amended upon the investigation's completion, sheriff's office spokesman Bob Gault said.

Authorities are awaiting results of toxicology tests that could take weeks or months, he said.

The accident occurred at 6:56 p.m. on Sept. 20 when Toll's white Mustang convertible left the roadway while negotiating a curve to the right on a downhill grade in the 100 block of Bryan Circle, according to Aly's incident report.

The car traveled left across the opposing traffic lane and struck a utility pole. It slid sideways after impact and rolled, coming to rest right-side up on residential property, the report states.

The posted speed limit on the road is 25 miles per hour and the weather was clear, according to the report.

The victim, who was wearing a shoulder and lap belt, was in the rear seat behind Toll. She was not ejected or trapped in the wreckage, according to authorities.

Toll, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was taken to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga by ambulance.

Two other teenage girls in the car were involved in the accident. A 14-year-old was taken by ambulance to SkyRidge Medical Center for treatment. That girl, who sat beside Ciara in the rear seat, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle.

A 13-year-old girl who was riding in the front passenger seat and wearing a seat belt declined treatment. No injuries were reported for her.

Injuries sustained by Toll and the 14-year-old girl are listed on the report as "non-incapacitating."

The utility pole snapped upon impact, leaving people in the Bennett Acres subdivision without power for several hours, Gault said.

This accident marks the fifth traffic death in Bradley County this year, records show.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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