The two men killed in a fatal wreck on State Route 109 just north of Gallatin last week were best friends that were as close as brothers, according to friends and co-workers.
The crash happened at the intersection of Old Douglas Lane shortly before 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2 and claimed the lives of 18-year-old Jordan McClanahan of Gallatin and 23-year-old Kyle Keegan of Westmoreland, according to a preliminary report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP).
The two worked together at the Dairy Queen in Gallatin and had been at the restaurant earlier in the day to pick up their checks, according to Damien Hegler, assistant general manager.
“They were always together,” an emotional Hegler recalled Tuesday. “They were almost brothers in a sense. It’s tough.
“We’re all at a loss.”
According to the THP report, McClanahan was driving a 2006 Acura RSX with Keegan and 18-year-old Dameon Shankle of Gallatin inside when the vehicle went across four lanes of traffic from Old Douglas Lane into the southbound lane of S.R. 109 and was struck on the passenger side by a 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck.
McClanahan and Keegan died as a result of the crash, according to the report. Shankle, along with the driver of the truck, 49-year-old Charles Mackey of Portland, were injured.
All four were wearing a safety belt at the time of the wreck and no citations or criminal charges were issued.
McClanahan had attended Gallatin High School and was a member of Future Farmers of America, according to his obituary. The 18-year-old loved music and had a passion for drawing and hanging out with friends. He was also a member of Hendersonville First Baptist Church where he was part of the Student Leadership Team and Media Ministry.
As for Keegan, Hegler said the 23-year old was a basketball enthusiast who had a memorable laugh who was always willing to help when asked.
“He was a good guy,” Hegler added. “The one thing that really inspired us about Kyle was that he didn’t really have transportation, but he didn’t make excuses. He walked every single day to work. He was here on time and didn’t let that stop him from doing his duties.”
A celebration of life for McClanahan was held Wednesday at Hendersonville First Baptist Church.
Funeral information for Keegan was not available as of Tuesday. His family has set up a “Kyle Keegan – memorial fund” page on GoFundMe to raise money to help pay for out-of-state burial expenses.
Dairy Queen in Gallatin is also collecting money for the families of both former employees. The restaurant, located at 672-B Nashville Pike, also plans to donate $1 of the proceeds from every Blizzard sold on Thursday, Aug. 8 to the families. A moment of silence will also be held that same day at 4:30 p.m.