Former Lebanon High School teacher and coach Randy Vanatta died Saturday afternoon in a two-car crash in Lebanon.
According to police Chief Scott Bowen, the wreck happened at 2:40 p.m. at the intersection of Winwood and Woodside Drive. He said officers arrived to find Vanatta, 58, dead at the scene. A 12-year-old son of a longtime friend was also in the car with Vanatta. The boy was taken to Vanderbilt Hospital by Lifeflight helicopter, and Bowen said he was listed in stable condition.
Bowen said reports indicate Vanatta was traveling east on Woodside Drive in a 2008 Audi TT2 at the intersection when he pulled into the path of a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Lebanon High School student Darius D. Johnson, 16, who was driving south on Winwood Drive. Another Lebanon High School student, Byron M. Williams, 17, was a passenger in Johnson’s car.
Wilson Emergency Management Agency paramedics took Johnson and Williams to Vanderbilt Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to Bowen.
Bowen said everyone involved in the crash was wearing a seatbelt, and there were no signs of alcohol or drug use at the time of the crash.
Bowen said officers believe speed and failure to yield are contributing factors to the crash. He said traffic reconstructionist Steve Green is leading the ongoing investigation.
Vanatta coached the Lebanon High School golf team for more than 20 years and also served as an assistant coach under Campbell Brandon on the Lebanon girls basketball team.
Vanatta attended Cumberland Junior College, where he played basketball and baseball before earning a bachelor’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University and a master’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University.
He was a 1972 graduate of Lebanon High School, where he excelled in basketball and baseball.
Partlow Funeral Chapel in Lebanon is in charge of arrangements.