BY BILL JONES
A Greene County Sheriff's Department corrections officer died about 7 a.m. Friday when the 1973 Volkswagen "beetle" she was driving collided with another compact car on the Kingsport Highway near Robertson Road.
The victim was identified as Kristi Kay Irwin, 39, of Terry Drive, Kingsport, by Tracy Lane, a Greene County-Greeneville Emergency Medical Services supervisor.
Irwin formerly resided on Dogwalk Lane in Greene County, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
John Jones, the Greene County Sheriff's Department's chief deputy, said Irwin had been with the Sheriff's Department for about four-and-a-half years and was assigned as a corrections officer at the Greene County Workhouse on West Summer Street.
He confirmed that Irwin was en route to her job at the time of the fatal accident.
"Everyone said she was a really nice person," Jones said. "We're going to miss her."
Jones said Irwin currently resided in Sullivan County and drove to and from Greeneville via state Route 93 (the Kingsport Highway) on a daily basis.
Irwin is survived by two children, he said.
Irwin died when the southbound 1973 Volkswagen "beetle" she was driving collided head-on with a northbound 2006 Toyota compact car driven by Monique Goodman, 23, of Fullview Drive, Greeneville, a Tennessee Highway Patrol dispatcher said.
Quoting from an initial accident report prepared by Trooper David Good, a THP dispatcher said it appeared that Irwin's car had crossed the centerline of the road about 7 a.m. Friday and collided head-on with Goodman's Toyota.
After colliding with the Toyota, the dispatcher said, the Volkswagen left the road and came to rest in a ditch.
Both Goodman and Irwin were wearing safety belts at the time of the fatal accident, the THP dispatcher said. However, because of the extent of crash damage to the Volkswagen, her safety belt did not prevent Irwin from suffering fatal injuries, the dispatcher said.
EMS Supervisor Lane said Goodman was flown from the scene by a Wings Air Rescue helicopter to the Johnson City Medical Center. The helicopter had landed in a field near the accident scene about 8.9 miles north of Greeneville.
A nursing supervisor at the JCMC said Goodman was treated and released from the hospital.
On Friday morning, Jonathan Williams, chief of the Newmansville VFD, said it took almost an hour for emergency personnel to free Irwin from the wreckage.