Tennessee teen dies in Waverly car accident

One teenage girl is dead after a serious Tennessee car accident on Interstate 40 yesterday morning. The accident occurred in Waverly, which is 55 miles west of Nashville, on an off-ramp. Authorities say that 11 others were injured.

Traffic accidents are the leading cause of teenage death in Tennessee and most of these accidents are preventable. Although the Waverly accident did not involve a teen driver, most accidents involving teens are due the lack of experience of teen drivers. Teen drivers may be more prone to speed and less likely to properly scan the roads for hazards or oncoming vehicles.

Authorities have speculated that the 24-year-old driver of the van involved in the Waverly crash fell asleep at the wheel around 9:30 a.m. yesterday. Driver fatigue is a significant factor in many Tennessee car accidents. Drowsy drivers are more likely to cause accidents through lane drift or running off of highways. Some speculate that the driver was up all night at a "lock-in" event. The young people in the van were returning from a Christian rock concert in Munford, Tennessee. The band played at an overnight event at the River of Life Church.

The van involved in the crash belongs to the Destiny Church of Columbia.

"They are a special group of kids," a church board member said. "We're sad. At this point we just ask that you pray for us and these parents that are dealing with this."

"Our hearts go out to all the families, particularly the one that lost the child," Governor Bill Haslam said.

Source: The Associated Press, "Troopers: 1 teenager dead, several injured after church van overturns on I-40 in Tennessee," Travis Loller, 7/28/11

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