A Corbin mother and daughter critically injured in a three-car crash Sunday on Cumberland Falls Hwy. face lengthy recoveries, a family member said Tuesday.
Joan Barton, 70, and her daughter Toni Alton, 49, both were airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center following the crash. Alton remained in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital as of press time Tuesday. Barton was scheduled to be released from ICU today.
The pair was traveling south on Cumberland Falls Hwy. at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday when they were struck head-on by pick-up truck driven by Seberne Durbin, 52, of Corbin. According to Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Meadors, Durbin crossed the centerline of the road after ramming into the back of another vehicle that was waiting to turn left into Moonbow Plaza. After striking the vehicle – a Ford Focus driven by Dorothy Shumate, 62, of Corbin – Durbin’s truck careened into oncoming traffic.
“He [Durbin] said he just wasn’t paying attention … Right now, it is just a freak accident. He admitted he made a mistake,” Meadors said.
Durbin told police he was pouring a soda into a cup when the accident occurred.
Meadors said he does not believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident. No criminal charges are expected to be filed at this time, though the accident remains under investigation.
Barton, who was the driver of her vehicle, suffered two broken legs (one severe), broken ribs and other injuries. Alton had a broken hip, broken leg and severely broken left arm, as well as some internal bleeding, as a result of the crash.
Whitley County Circuit Clerk Gary Barton, who is Joan Barton’s nephew, said his aunt was “in good spirits” but will likely remain in the hospital for a month before being able to participate in physical therapy. He said Alton is scheduled to undergo surgery and was still considered to be in “serious” condition.
The two attend Shiner Church of Christ and were on their way to teach at the church’s Bible School when the accident happened.
“A lot of people are worried about them. They appreciate everyone’s concern,” Gary Barton said. “Everyone in the family is thankful for the support.”
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