Passenger dies in single-vehicle crash near Wayne County line

APRIL 15 -- A 20-year-old Clifton, Tennessee man was fatally injured this morning in a single-vehicle crash on Tenn. 69-S in Hardin County, close to the Wayne County line.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said Austin Blake Riley Melson, who died, was a passenger in a 2011 Ford Fusion operated by Danny Lane Franks, 22, of Florence Alabama. 

Franks was driving south on the highway when the vehicle failed to negotiate a left curve and went off the right side of the roadway. The Ford entered a ravine, struck a ditch and came to rest upside down.


According to the THP, alcohol was a factor and charges are pending investigation. Franks, who was reported injured, was wearing a seatbelt. 

Melson was not wearing a seatbelt. 

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