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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wreck takes 2 lives

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ribbons and flowers were placed Monday at one of the trees at the site where Nathan Pugh and Jarrad Ray lost their lives in a crash early Sunday on Highway 64 West.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
As many area residents and Facebook users pray for the families of two men killed -- and one survivor -- in a wreck west of Shelbyville early Sunday, a witness wishes she could have been of more help.

"I just wish I could have done something more," said Robin Swindle of Highway 64 West.

The truck in which driver Nathan Doyle Pugh, 29, and Benjamin Jarrad Ray, 28, both of Shelbyville, lost their lives crashed into trees in Swindle's front yard shortly before 1:10 a.m., authorities said.

Andrew "Drew" Clanton, 22, of Shelbyville, who was in the right rear seat, was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville along with Ray, State Trooper Jackie Smith said. Clanton has since been released from the hospital.

Pugh died at the scene.

Swindle ran to help immediately after Pugh's truck came to rest against a tree in her front yard.

"Another man was behind them and walked up to their truck behind me." Swindle said. "I asked him to help get the doors open. He took one look and left."

The tragedy became worse for Swindle when she realized she knows Clanton.

"The thought going through my mind was, "Oh, God, please don't let me know these kids," Swindle said.

Swindle is involved in a hunting club with Clanton and his father, Randy Clanton.

Accident described

Pugh lost control of an eastbound Toyota Tundra extended cab pickup truck just east of the Highway 130 intersection, Smith said.

"The vehicle ran off the right side of the road, traveling down a ditch line, striking a culvert, driving across a private driveway and continuing down the ditch line," Smith said in his report.

"The truck came back on the roadway, traveling across the road and striking a tree, spinning the vehicle around and coming to rest in a yard facing west."

Gouges and scrape marks show the truck hit three trees in Swindle's front yard.

Witness's horror

"I heard what sounded like...at first I thought someone blew a tire," Swindle said. "Within seconds I heard tires screeching and ran to the door.

"I told my daughter to call 911. I ran to the truck and at first I didn't know there were three in there. I told her to call an ambulance immediately."

Smith's report said Pugh had been drinking; alcohol consumption was listed as "unknown" for the passengers. Ray and Clanton were wearing seat belts, which, according to Smith, would not have made a difference.

Help arrives

Two medical helicopters landed in a field across from the accident site within a short time after the accident to transport Ray and Clanton.

The victims are Bedford County's second and third traffic fatalities of 2013.