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Nurse dies on trip to take funds to St. Jude's Hospital

John Thompson • Updated Sep 10, 2019 at 8:56 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Tragedy struck a dedicated nurse on a mission of charity for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital last Friday.

Tiffany Wortman Jones, a registered nurse at Sycamore Shoals Hospital, was killed in a motorcycle crash Friday while on the way to St. Jude’s as part of a charity motorcycle ride.

Her father, David Wortman, said his daughter liked to work the hardest cases and was preparing to be a nurse practitioner. She was 43 and the mother of two sons: Riley and Ryan, ages 11 and 9.

David Wortman is a member of a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle club from Kingsport. He said that for many years the club has held fundraisers for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, and on Friday the club rode its motorcycles on the 500-mile journey to Memphis.

While David is a member of the club, his daughter is not, but was invited to accompany the group. While most of the members were driving Gold Wing motorcycles, Tiffany was riding a Harley Davidson.

Between 35 and 40 members were in the group as they headed west on Interstate 40 in the Cumberland Plateau near Crossville when the crash happened.

Wortman said his daughter was behind him in the line of motorcycles. He said at one point he looked in his rear view mirror and suddenly he could not see her or her motorcycle. He went to the next exit to get back to his daughter, but it was 10 miles away

It took about 45 minutes to get to the scene of the wreck after working through all the traffic. His daughter had already been placed in an evacuation helicopter. But the medics could not get her stabilized enough for a flight to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

She was taken by ambulance to Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville, where she died.

Wortman thinks that the wreck might have happened because his daughter passed out. The motorcycle began drifting off the road.

Wortman expressed a lot of pride for his daughter. He said she was a graduate of Milligan College, where she had earned a bachelor of science degree in business and a bachelor of science degree in nursing. She was working to become a nurse practitioner.

“That was her dream, to be a nurse practitioner,” said Wortman. “She was a good person.”

His biggest immediate concern is for his two grandsons and the sudden loss of their mother. He said the family has worked to keep them busy and they are attending school. Over the weekend, they played on their sports teams, and one of the boys scored a touchdown in his game.

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