Clifton E. Shipley, 57, of Lebanon, died Monday following injuries he received during a wreck on Highway 231 North near the Sumner/Trousdale County line.
Tennessee State Patrol officers and Trousdale County Sheriff's officers were dispatched to the scene following the 6:30 a.m. wreck.
According to the THP Trooper Danny Fisher's report, Shipley, driving a white 2007 Chevy SUV, was south bound on U.S. Hwy. 231, when he appeared to have fallen asleep. Shipley then crossed over north-bound lanes and struck a bridge embankment, causing the vehicle to flip over into the creek.
"The bridge was cracked in several places," Trousdale County Sheriff Department Sgt. Joe Sullins said. "THP closed the bridge temporarily until the state deemed the bridge safe."
In Fisher's report, he wrote that he believed that safety restraints could have made a difference if Shipley had been wearing his seatbelt.
Sheriff Ray Russell added there have been four previous fatalities in that general area, and drivers should use caution while driving that stretch of Highway 231 North.
"Driver's need to be aware, drive with caution and slow down," said Sullins. "We don't have to be in a hurry everywhere we go…every life is precious. We don't want to see anybody hurt or killed, or putting their driving skills to test."
Hartsville Vidette Managing Editor Marie Corhern can be reached at 615-779-3133 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.