[ACCIDENT] Chain Reaction Crash Sends a C2 Corvette Driver and a Police Officer to the Hospital


[ACCIDENT] Chain Reaction Crash Sends a C2 Corvette Driver and a Police Officer to the Hospital

Photo Credit: newschannel9.com

The 61-year-old driver of a silver C2 Corvette convertible suffered serious injuries after being involved in two crashes in Chattanooga, Tenn., early Sunday morning.

James Upton lost control of his 1965 or 1966 Sting Ray at 2:14 a.m. in light rain and slid sideways, crashing head-on into a white Lexus SUV driven by Sherry West, 50, along Highway 153 at the intersection of U.S. 27.

While officers were diverting traffic from that wreck, which shut down traffic in both directions, a white pickup driven by Billy Burroughs, 60, drove through the scene and struck Chattanooga Police Department investigator Jeffrey Buckner, who was not wearing a reflective vest, according to witnesses.

Buckner had to be taken to the hospital but fortunately was able to be released later in the day, going home to rest with his family, according to Chattanooga Police Department spokesman Trevor Tomas, who added that West and her three passengers did not suffer injuries requiring a trip to the hospital. Likewise, Burroughs was not hospitalized, remaining on the scene and cooperating fully with traffic investigators, according to police reports.

The classic Corvette, on the other hand, suffered major damage, particularly to the passenger side, based on a photo from the scene.

Buckner’s fate proved to be much better than that of another Chattanooga police officer who was struck by a vehicle earlier this year. In February, officer Nicholas Galinger died after being hit while inspecting an overflowing manhole cover in the rain.

Ironically, Buckner had testified in a bond hearing for the driver in that incident, Janet Hinds, 55, who is facing 10 charges, including DUI and vehicular homicide by way of intoxication.

After Sunday’s incident, Lt. Daniel Jones reminds motorists to be cautious as they negotiate roads in the rain, especially around crash sites.

“I understand,” Jones told the Chattanooga Times-Free Press. “Everybody sees a traffic crash, and whenever you see the traffic crash, one thing you wanna do is see what’s going on. But unfortunately, whenever you’re looking at another crash, there may be folks in the road or there may be things that are going on investigation-wise, and you just miss it. And whenever you miss something, then unfortunately, that something may be a police officer.”

newschannel9.com and TimesFreePress.com

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  1. Its interesting how it looks like the frame on the Corvette broke in half. I wonder if their was a structural problem do to the age of the vehicle?
    Of course with everyone driving these 6 to 7000 pound “Tanks” around these days it does make it more dangerous to be on the road. Unfortunatly I doubt the Corvette is salvageable and will end up a parts car. I hope the driver recovers fully, and maybe enrolls in a driving course that teaches skid control

  2. I hope all the injured parties recover well and completely. That mid-year Sting Ray appearing to be “broken in half” is a heartbreaking image. I also would suspect that it is not going to be rebuilt, and the 61-year old owner James Upton is lucky to have survived the crash, judging from the photo… I wish him well and pray he recovers fully.
    ‘Looking at his wrecked Sting Ray in the picture above, it made me think of my first Corvette, which also was a silver C2 (1966) roadster. I’ve not seen a photo of a wrecked C2 that looked any worse than that one… it almost looks as though it went through a colossal meat-grinder… ‘very sad.

  3. Jeff Butler said “I hope the driver recovers fully, and maybe enrolls in a driving course that teaches skid control”
    Jeff, the old Corvette, it’s a classic car, maybe coming from a show and it may even have had original-type bias-ply tires on it, not modern radials. The beginning of a light rain makes the roads almost as treacherous as ice does, as there is a film created which hasn’t yet washed away as the rain becomes heavier and continues. You can’t really judge the owner of the Corvette’s driving skills without knowledge of exactly what happened, can you? I will give you credit in that you hoped the driver recovers fully.

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