|On April 24, 2017 at approximately 12:30 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol and Traffic Enforcement Officers were already on the scene of a fatal motor vehicle rollover collision on southbound Interstate 81 in the vicinity of mile-marker 64. This first crash necessitated a medical transport helicopter landing resulting in a temporary roadway closure. Southbound traffic was beginning to back up and at a complete standstill.
About a mile back, at roughly mile-marker 65, three vehicles were slowed or stopped in congested southbound I-81 traffic. These vehicles, in order, were a 2005 Honda CRV, driven by Marti Jane Sutherland, followed by a 2016 Volvo tractor trailer, driven by Randall Dale Bartlett, followed by a 2011 Peterbilt tractor trailer, driven by David Ray Haworth.
A fourth vehicle, a 2010 Freightliner tractor trailer, driven by Andrii Kravchuk, was southbound on I-81 and failed to stop for traffic ahead. The Freightliner rear-ended the Peterbilt, knocking it forward into the Volvo, which in turn collided with the Honda.
Mr. Bartlett was not injured. Ms. Sutherland and Mr. Haworth sustained possible injuries and were transported to Holston Valley Medical Center by Sullivan County EMS for precautionary evaluation. Mr. Kravchuk sustained incapacitating injuries. The serious nature of his injuries, compounded by the extreme traffic congestion, necessitated the landing of a second medical helicopter on the Interstate. He was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center for emergency medical treatment.
The combination of these two crashes resulted in southbound I-81 being completely closed for about four hours, then remaining at one lane for an additional hour and a half, to allow for the thorough investigation of both crashes, the safe removal of all vehicles involved, and the cleanup of all subsequent spillage and debris. All lanes are now back open with normal traffic patterns resumed.
This crash remains under active investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit with charges pending.