Flat Creek woman dies in Highway 82 head-on collision

Lori Peels of Flat Creek died on Friday following a head-on collision on Highway 82. Her husband, Gary Peels, remains at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in critical condition. (Social Media Photo)

BEDFORD COUNTY, Tenn. — A Bedford County woman died over the weekend following a head-on collision on Highway 82 in the Flat Creek community near the Moore County, Bedford County line. The accident shut down traffic on Highway 82 for several hours while first responders attempted to clear the scene with severe weather looming.

According to the preliminary report by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the two vehicles were traveling on Highway 82 around 6:47 p.m. when Corbin Springer, age 21, crossed the yellow center line in a Dodge Avenger and struck the Peels’ Dodge Caravan Minivan head-on.

The driver, Lori Stokes Peels, age 51, was pronounced dead on the scene and her husband Gary Peels, the passenger, was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in critical condition. Due to high winds, air ambulance could not be deployed at the scene. Instead, emergency officials transported Gary via ambulance to Tullahoma Airport, then Vanderbilt LifeFlight transported him to Nashville. According to VUMC Media Relations, Gary remains at the level one trauma center in critical condition.

All individuals in the accident were wearing their seatbelts, according to the THP report. Charges for Springer are pending.

Lori, Gary, and their daughter Hannah are beloved members of the close-knit Flat Creek community. Lori taught at the Liberty School in Bedford County and Gary works at The Jack Daniel’s Distillery Visitor’s Center.

Social media posts began to circulate Friday night that the driver who hit the Peels was being pursued by Tennessee Highway Patrol at the time of the accident. That’s not true according to local law enforcement. According to officials with the Metro Moore County Sheriff’s Department, local deputies did eyewitness the 21 year old driver passing an RV on a double yellow line, and turned around on him but they terminated the attempt, as per department policy, once the deputy lost sight of the vehicle. The first THP official arrived on scene approximately 15 minutes after the collision, according to local EMA logs.

At press time, obituary information for Lori Peels was not available. We will publish those details as soon as they are available. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We tells the stories of local folks here in Lynchburg as well as those happening across Tennessee and the American South that we believe may be of interest to our readers. Like what we’re doing? You can support us for just $5 per month by following this link.}

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