According to a report by Trooper Chris Dunn, Shepherd was driving a 2005 Dodge Neon southbound on U.S. 321 near the intersection with Little Stoney Creek Road when she misjudged a sharp right turn in the road.
Investigators said Shepard came around the curve and crossed the center line, striking a 2005 Toyota Camry driven by Fortune. The vehicles crashed head on.
The crash took place around 3:04 p.m. Both lanes of the highway were blocked for over two hours as responders worked to clear the site, which was in the middle of the curve. Fluids from the cars coated the road, which was made even more slick from rain.
Traffic backed up nearly to the Butler Bridge, according to County Commissioner Doc Miller. In the other direction, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers set a roadblock at the Cherokee National Forest Recreation Area at Watauga Point.. Many cars parked in the parking lots of the recreation area until the road was reopened around 5:30 p.m.
Emergency responders including the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Carter County Sheriff's Department, Carter County Rescue Squad, Hampton-Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Department, Butler Volunteer Fire Department and Carter County Coroner Benny Colbaugh responded to the crash.