GATLINBURG, T.N. – One person has died after a tree fell on a car following storms in Tennessee on Thursday.
According to the National Park Service, the northern area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park experienced heavy rainfall at about 3 p.m. This caused multiple rock slides, downed trees, and flash flooding along the Spur and Gatlinburg Bypass.
Due to the storm, a tree fell on a 2006 Honda Odessa driven by Barry Willard Wallace, age 73, of Cedartown, GA, National Park officials said.
The incident happened along the southbound Spur between the Welcome Center and the Gatlinburg Bypass.
Wallace died as a result of his injuries, park officials said. There were no passengers or other vehicles involved in the accident.
Emergency road crews from the National Park Service, the City of Pigeon Forge, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation have been working to clear rock slides and downed trees.
The Sevier County Emergency Management Agency and Pigeon Forge Police Department also responded to assist.
The northbound Spur reopened at approximately 7 p.m.
The Gatlinburg Bypass and the southbound Spur are expected to reopen later this evening with a single-lane closure through the affected areas, park officials said.
Park Rangers, the Gatlinburg Police Department, and the Gatlinburg Fire Department provided emergency response to the scene of the motor-vehicle accident. The Tennessee Highway Patrol is assisting with the accident investigation.