Wife, son of Manteo native killed by driver targeting pedestrians in Tennessee

Matthew, Nolan and Sierra Cahoon. [Photo courtesy Carson-Newman University]

The wife, 2-year-old son and unborn child of an Outer Banks native were killed in Tennessee Monday by a driver who, police say, intentionally targeted pedestrians walking through town.

Sierra Wilson Cahoon, 30, and 2-year-old Nolan — wife and son of Manteo native Matthew Cahoon — were the second and third victims struck by the driver, who committed “an intentional act of violence toward randomly chosen pedestrians” in Jefferson City, Tennessee about 3:30 p.m., police said in a news release.

The first victim, a 61-year-old Jefferson City man, is expected to survive. A fourth victim, who was in a building struck by the driver, suffered minor injuries, police said.

The driver, William David Phillips, 33, of Jefferson City, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder, Jefferson City police said. A third first-degree murder charge is pending for the death of the Cahoon’s unborn baby.

Sierra and Nolan are the wife and son of Matthew Cahoon, who graduated from Manteo High School in 2003, and whose parents, Jack and Pricilla Cahoon, still live in town.

Matthew Cahoon is an athletic trainer at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City.

“Our Carson-Newman Athletics and University family are heartbroken of this tragic loss,” school officials said in a news release. “During this time of need, we are here for Matt and we are here to support the Wilson/Cahoon family.”

The university has established a fund to benefit the Cahoon family. Those wishing to contribute may give online to “The Randall and Kay O’Brien Benevolent Fund” here.

A family friend has established a GoFundMe to help with final expenses. Click here to contribute.

About Kari Pugh 303 Articles
Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and Classic Rock 92.3. Reach her at kari@obxtoday.com


  1. Heartbreaking, our thought & prayers are with all the family & friends. I can’t imagine the grief. I don’t understand what is going on in our world today!!

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