KPD e-News Release: One Major Crash and More Minor Ones Bring Interstate 81 to a Halt

Kingsport Police Department

David Quillin, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: One Major Crash and More Minor Ones Bring Interstate 81 to a Halt
DATE: November 3, 2017
CASE #: 17-031147
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On November 2, 2017 at approximately 5:30 PM, area first responders to, include Kingsport Police Department Patrol Officers and Crash Reconstructionists, were alerted to multiple motor vehicle crashes on Interstate 81 in Kingsport. The ensuing investigation revealed the following:

Northbound I-81 traffic at approximately mile marker 58 was already slowed or stopped as a result of a pre-existing minor collision involving a sport utility vehicle and a guardrail.

A tractor-trailer (hauling frozen chicken) was northbound on I-81 in the right lane when it came upon the slowed or stopped traffic. The driver swerved to the left to avoid a collision in the right lane and ended up rear-ending a Mercury sedan ahead of him in the left lane.

The Mercury was knocked forward and to the right into the back of a U-Haul rental truck. The Mercury rolled over but eventually ended up back on its wheels off the right side of the road.

The tractor-trailer continued forward and rolled over as well, landing on its side on top of a Hyundai sedan. The Hyundai came to a rest on the shoulder of the road with the tractor portion on top of it, while the trailer portion stretched sideways across I-81 traffic lanes.

A total of five motorists were transported to an area medical facility as a result of this crash; however, as of the time of this release, none of the injuries appear to be life threatening. This crash remains under investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit with charges pending.

Meanwhile, two additional minor rear-end type crashes occurred in the same vicinity in the southbound lanes of Interstate 81 as a result of congested traffic and diverted driver attentions.

I-81 traffic was at more or less a complete standstill for over three hours to allow for the treatment and transportation of the injured, a thorough investigation of all of the crashes, and the safe removal of damaged vehicles and debris.

As of approximately 8:45 PM, both southbound lanes and one northbound lane were back open to travel, with the one remaining northbound lane expected to remain closed throughout the better portion of the night.

As previously released:

On November 2, 2017, as of approximately 8:45 PM, both southbound lanes and one northbound lane of I-81 in Kingsport are back open for travel. In the interest of safety, there could potentially continue to be some brief intermittent northbound closures while the investigation continues. The crashes that caused these closures remain under active investigation; therefore, no further details will be immediately available. Additional information should be available by the morning of Friday, November 3, 2017.

As previously released:

On November 2, 2017 at approximately 5:30 PM, area first responders to include Kingsport Police Department Patrol Officers were alerted to as many as two separate motor vehicle collisions involving the possibility of at least one overturned tractor-trailer on Interstate 81 in Kingsport. At this time, it appears that both directions of travel are effected and at a complete standstill between mile markers 57 and 59.

Area motorists are advised to avoid this area and plan an alternate route. Motorists already in the immediate area are strongly encouraged to exercise patience and courtesy, follow all traffic instructions, and drive with a heightened sense of situational awareness.

TDOT has been notified, and traffic should begin to be diverted and detoured shortly. No additional details regarding any resultant crash investigations are available at this time.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

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