One killed, three injured in explosive I-75 head-on tractor trailer crash

Photo by Bonnie Abernathy
By  | 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- One person was killed and three others were injured in a fiery crash between two tractor trailers on I-75 in Campbell County Wednesday afternoon.

The accident happened around 3:15 p.m, shutting down I-75 in both directions.

A chemical fire led TEMA to evacuate a half-mile radius around the crash site. Officials lifted the evacuation order around 6:30 p.m. The Tennessee Highway Patrol says some lanes reopened around 7:30 p.m. and the crash site was cleared around 2 a.m.

THP says a northbound tractor trailer crossed the median and crashed head-on into a southbound tractor trailer near Caryville.

Witnesses to the event say they heard three to four loud explosions after the accident.

One tractor trailer, owned by R + L Carriers, was hauling oxidizing materials. Superior Battery Manufacturing, which manufactures Superlex Batteries, owned the other, which was carrying batteries. THP says there were no radioactive materials on board, despite early reports.

THP confirms three people were injured and one person died in the crash; they report a passenger vehicle was involved as well as the two tractor trailers.

Superior Battery Manufacturing has confirmed that their driver, 49-year-old Tim Holt, was killed in the accident. He was from Russell Springs, Kentucky. Superlex says he had been driving with the company for 15 years and described him as an "Ace" driver with an excellent driving record and lots of experience. The company is waiting for THP reports on the accident; they say THP has told them those could be released within 4-5 days.

Campbell County 911 dispatchers said two firefighters were injured in the response.

Lifestar flew injured patients to UT Medical Center. Their names and conditions have not yet been released.

A preliminary report has still not been released.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus