Elderly woman flown from Bulls Gap wreck to Holston Valley

Jeff Bobo • Aug 1, 2019 at 8:35 PM

UPDATE: As of Friday Joan Starnes was listed in critical condition at the Holston Valley Medical Center.

BULLS GAP – An 89-year-old woman was flown out of Bulls Gap via rescue helicopter to Holston Valley Medical Center Wednesday evening following a two vehicle collision on Highway 11-E.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 driven by Stanley Sheppard, 71, of Whitesburg was traveling southbound on Highway 11-E near the Highland Avenue intersection.

Trooper David Good stated in his report that Sheppard was attempting to negotiate a curve while Joan Starnes, 89, no hometown listed, was driving a 2010 Toyota Avalon south on Highland Avenue.

When Starnes attempted to pull into the northbound lane of 11-E, she reportedly pulled into the path of Sheppard.

Sheppard’s Dodge pickup then struck Starnes’ Toyota in the driver’s side door.

Starnes was airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center by Life Flight. There was no information available Thursday about her condition.

Sheppard and his passenger Rita Sheppard, 67, of Whitesburg, both suffered minor injuries, but refused treatment from EMS.

All three people involved in the accident were wearing seat belts.

Hawkins County EMS and the Hawkins County Rescue Squad responded to the crash.

No other information was available.