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Nashville, Tennessee

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George Fusner
George Fusner
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Francis Davis and Denise West Killed on 41A Bypass In Clarksville

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Driver Francis Davis and passenger Denise West were in a 2004 Ford Taurus crossing the 41A bypass in Clarksville when their vehicle was struck by a 2005 Nissan Quest. The driver and passenger of the Nissan survived, but Davis and West have since died from their injuries.

The accident occurred at the 41-A Bypass and Edmondson Road. At first glance, Davis failed to yield right of way to the Nissan travelling on 41-A. In Tennessee, Section 55-8-129 governs left-turn right of way:

The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard…

This is a very longwinded statute saying that the driver looking to turn left onto a major road must first yield right-of-way to oncoming traffic. Similarly Section 55-8-130 is for crossing an intersection. All of this can also be found in the Tennessee DMV’s driver handbook.

But there is probably more to this story. The 41-A Bypass has hills which limit the driver’s ability to see people far ahead. The speed limit is 50 mph in the area, but many travel faster than that, as the driver of the Nissan may have been. Take these two factors and you have a situation where the turning driver can’t see oncoming traffic, and the oncoming traffic can’t stop in time when a vehicle crosses.

Judging by local news reports and those who have responded to them, the intersection is in a desperate need of a traffic signal. Why is there no signal now? What prompted the decision not to put one in before? Did the city know about this hazard? Is the Tennessee DOT responsible for failing to put proper traffic controls at the intersection. These are all factors a lawyer would need to look into to determine who or what caused this fatal accident to occur.