Trucker Killed In Wreck

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Campbell County (WVLT) -- A fatal collision between a pick-up truck and gas tanker claimed the life of an East Tennessee man early this morning.

Authorities says 46 year old Michael Jones, of Clinton died at the scene on Highway 63.

"The passenger truck was driving east on state route 63, and the commercial vehicle was traveling west," said Kelly Smith with the Tennessee Highway Patrol. "The commercial vehicle traveled off the road and erupted into flames," he said.

The size of the vehicles played a huge factor in the accident.

"We had a gasoline tanker versus pickup truck," said Eddy Hatmaker with the Caryville Volunteer Fire Department.

The fatal accident left rescuers in mourning and praying for the family of the victim.

"Whenever we recovered the body out of the truck, we had a work of prayers," said Hatmaker. He along with others were saddened by the death of a fellow East Tennessean.

"It is sometimes tough, especially when you deal with fatalities," said Durand Carmany with the LaFollete Rescue Squad.

The driver of the pick-up was spared in the accident.

Crews were able to rescue 24-year old Jerry Posey of Oneida from the middle of the wreckage, just before it erupted in flames.

"The extraction services we provide for the county make the difference in life and death almost on an every other day basis," said Carmany.

"We withdrew our guys from fighting the fire, just stood back and watched the tanker," said Hatmaker, "we just let it burn out."

But the rescue crews stayed close to make sure the flames did not go out of control while they the "big pile of metal" burn away.

"The truck is completely destroyed," said Hatmaker.

"We've had several fatalities in this area recently," said Smith.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol says charges are pending while an investigation of the accident takes place.

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