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Christmas Eve Car Accident Kills 3, Injures 3

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Joshua Peavley, 19, was driving west on General Carl Stinger Highway in LaFollette on Christmas Eve. His pickup crossed into the opposite lane and crashed into a Buick LeSabre carrying five people.

Peavley was partially ejected from his truck, which quickly caught fire. He died at the scene. Driver Gary Mefford, 59 and front seat passenger Brenda Mefford, 63, died from their injuries. Three passengers also sustained injuries:

  • Phillip Lee, 57
  • Alexandria Conley, 5
  • Joshua Ivey, 17

Police say that Conley was not restrained properly.

The stretch of highway where the fatal car accident occurred is no stranger to accidents, according to Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins.

“We have a lot of wrecks on highway 63,” Goins said. “Usually, when we have wrecks, they are pretty bad and we’ve had several fatalities there.”

Tennessee Highway Patrol Larry Skeen said that none of the deceased victims were wearing seat belts. If they had worn seat belts, he said, they might have survived the crash.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a seat belt is the best way to prevent serious injury or death in a car accident. Between 2004 and 2008, seat belts saved over 75,000 lives in car wrecks. If a crash ejects passengers from the vehicle, their chances of surviving are very low. Seat belts help keep passengers inside the vehicle.

People who lose loved ones in fatal car accidents have options for recovering damages on behlf of their deceased friends and family members. If you are grieving such a loss, please call us at (615) 866-3938. For no charge, we can explain your legal rights during this difficult time.

“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” – John 14:27

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