McKenzie couple killed in weekend crash

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A McKenzie man and his wife were both killed in a two-vehicle crash Saturday in Gleason.

Billy Washburn, 85, and his 78-year-old wife, Alice Washburn, both died from injuries sustained in the accident, which occurred shortly before 11 a.m. at the intersection of East Union Street and Phelps Street.

Billy and Alice Washburn

According to Gleason Police Chief Paul Eddlemon, the accident occurred when a 2005 Dodge Caravan, driven by Billy Washburn, 85, of McKenzie, was traveling southbound on Phelps Street and failed to stop at the intersection of East Union Street. Washburn’s wife, Alice Washburn, 78, was a passenger in the vehicle.

When Washburn attempted to cross East Union Street, his van was struck by an eastbound Freightliner heavy-duty 18-wheeler driven by Zachary C. Brantley, 30, of Gleason.

The truck, which is owned by Spain Brothers Milling Company, struck the van on the passenger’s side and pushed it into a ditch on the south side of East Union Street.

“The van came to rest a short distance from the impact point,” Chief Eddlemon said. “This indicates speed was not a factor in the incident.”

Brantley was not injured in the accident.

All parties were wearing seatbelts at the time of the fatal wreck.

Tennessee Highway Patrol assisted Gleason Police Department in working the scene, and will also continue to assist in the investigation.

Emergency units dispatched during the emergency included: Gleason Police and Fire Departments, Weakley County EMS, THP, and the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department. Additionally, two air ambulance helicopters were dispatched, but later cancelled.

Billy Washburn is a retired employee of Atlantic Holmes, and Alice Washburn is a retired nurse. Billy is the uncle of both Dresden Mayor Jeff Washburn and McKenzie Banner publisher Joel Washburn.

Funeral services for both Billy and Alice Washburn will be today (Wednesday, Oct. 21) at 2 p.m. at Brummitt McKenzie Funeral Home with burial to follow at Caledonia Cemetery.

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