National News

1 dead, another injured after motorcycle collision on Dragon

Posted 5:13 p.m. Monday
Updated 5:15 p.m. Monday

— One person died and another was injured when their motorcycles collided and went over a steep embankment on an eastern Tennessee road known as the Dragon. The survivor was finally rescued after his shouts for help were heard more than 24 hours after the crash.

The Daily Times of Maryville reports ( ) that the wreck wasn't discovered until a group of motorcyclists heard the survivor's shouts about 12:45 p.m. Sunday.

The crash had occurred the previous day at 10 a.m., plunging the riders 50 and 100 feet below the road, which is famous for its 318 curves in 11 miles along the western edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol on Monday identified the dead rider as 29-year-old Phillip Polito of Perryville, Missouri. According to the accident report, Polito's Victory cruiser was struck from behind by a BMW touring bike when he hit the brakes along the twisty road.

Blount County fire officials said the survivor, 41-year-old Kevin Lee Diepenbrock of Greenville, Texas, was flown out by helicopter after an elaborate rescue effort.


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