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Two young people are dead — and at least two more were hospitalized as of press time from injuries sustained after their car was struck by a train Friday evening in north Harriman.
Roane State Community College Raiderette basketball player Jadah Gallaher, 18, of Harriman and Raider team member Roderick Patrick Drummond, 22, of Greenville, S.C., died in the crash at the railroad tracks on Tanglewood Drive.
Gallaher’s 20-year-old brother, Darius Gallaher, 20, also a member of the Raiders men’s basketball team, was driving the vehicle and at last report was seriously injured.
Also injured was Hunter Crass, 20, a student athlete at Maryville College.
The Gallaher siblings and Crass had been athletes at Harriman High School.
Tennessee Highway Patrol reports said Darius Gallaher was driving a 2000 Nissan Maxima westbound on Tanglewood Drive and was attempting to cross the Norfolk Southern railroad crossing when the vehicle was struck by the train.
Traffic was all but stopped on Hwy. 27 with emergency vehicles taking up much of the road.
A family member walking toward the scene was stopped and dropped to the ground with a scream.
The Marathon gas station across from the scene was overflowing with vehicles and people standing and talking, while helicopters took off from nearby, taking the victims to University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Drummond, 22, was a sophomore at Roane State and a graduate of Wade Hampton High School in South Carolina, according to the Roane State men’s basketball team website.
Jadah Gallaher, a 2013 graduate of Harriman High School, was known for her beautiful smile and determination on the basketball court.
She was a beloved part of the community and a devout Christian.
“Jesus changed my life,” proclaimed a meme she retweeted on Twitter on May 28.
The Gallahers’ father, Willie Gallaher, reached out to the community via Facebook on Saturday.
“Thanks for all of the prayers,” he posted. “Continue to pray for Darius.”
He continued, “It’s hard to say and even hard to grasp right now but I know God is still good, in the midst of it all ... for my baby girl is with her Heavenly father and praise God, we will see her again.”