WJTV News Channel 12 - "Unavoidable accident" kills 10-year-old Bluff City girl

"Unavoidable accident" kills 10-year-old Bluff City girl

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PINEY FLATS, TN (WJHL) -

A 10-year-old girl is dead after a storm tossed debris against the car in which she was a passenger.

Johnson City Police said the young girl and her mother were heading north on Bristol Highway around 5 P.M. Thursday when the storm hit.

Police say they slowed down, but a gust of wind sent pieces of wood and metal flying into their car.

Emergency crews closed Bristol Highway down for more than an hour.

"This was completely unavoidable, an accident if there ever was one," said Johnson City Police Officer, Sgt. Jim Tallmadge.

Thursday night emergency crews responded to reports of an accident at Bristol Highway and Allison Road in Piney Flats.

Phillip Torbett, owner of F.J. Torbett Plant Farm said the storm that caused the accident came through in a flash.

"It just kept getting blacker and black, but really no warning until hail started, started hailing. Then the wind came in just a short period of time, like 3-4 minutes and then was gone," said Torbett.

The high winds ripped the roof off a shed and part of a greenhouse at F.J. Torbett Plant Farm.

"A section of metal roofing from a nearby shed was blown off it's supports and blown on to the roadway where it actually collided with the vehicle," said Tallmadge.

Torbett said he had no idea how serious things were until he saw red and blue lights. "I came out and saw the rescue squad and all the police and stuff down there. That was the first time I even realized what had happened."

Police say wood and metal pierced the side of a car driven by Tammy McCamy. McCamy and her daughter were rushed to the hospital where 10-year-old Shelby was pronounced dead.

"You hate anything like this happens, but it's just something Mother Nature hands you, and you can't do a thing about it," said Torbett.

Police describe it as an unavoidable accident, but the consequences are heartbreaking.

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