GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK, Tenn. (WVLT) - Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers responded to a report of a single car crash on Newfound Gap Road at around 7:11 a.m. Saturday, December 1.
A 2014 GMC pickup truck, driven by Lawrence Gallagher, age 63 of La Follette left the roadway and landed roughly 40 feet below in the river at the bridge near the Chimneys Picnic Area entrance along Newfound Gap Road.
A female passenger, Wanda Strunk, age 62, of Oneida died as a result of the accident.
According to the driver, the roads were wet that evening as he traveled south along Newfound Gap Road. Both he and the passenger were able to exit the vehicle following the accident before she was swept away in the current. She was located approximately 150 yards downstream of the accident in the river.
It is unknown if she succumbed to injuries related to the accident or drowned in the river.
Park Rangers, including the park’s technical Search and Rescue Team, along with the Sevier County Rescue Squad, Gatlinburg Fire Department, and Gatlinburg Police Department responded to the scene.
Park officials said there are no pending charges at this time for the driver.