|On April 16, 2022, just before 10:00 AM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to the interchange of Interstate 81 and State Route 126 in Kingsport in reference to a single motor vehicle collision. Due to the serious nature of the crash, the K.P.D. Traffic Unit was called to the scene to investigate. Their findings thus far are as follows:
A dark blue 2013 Hyundai Elantra 4-door sedan was northbound on Interstate 81 approaching exit 66 when for unknown reasons, the vehicle drifted to the left into the center grass median. The vehicle crashed through a guard rail, went airborne, dropped between the northbound and southbound overpasses, and came to rest on State Route 126 below.
At the time of the crash, the vehicle was being driven by Eveline Janete Nunez Zavala, with front seat passenger, Ever Samuel Zavala. Ms. Zavala and Ever Samuel Zavala were both wearing their seatbelts and remained in the vehicle, but had to be extricated by first responders. Ms. Zavala sustained non-incapacitating injuries and was transported to an area hospital by Sullivan County EMS. Ever Samuel Zavala sustained suspected major injuries and was airlifted to an area hospital by Wings Air Rescue.
Believed to have been riding in the back seat at the time of the crash were Lester E. Martinez Zavala and Kevin Alexander Ramirez Moncada. Neither were wearing their seatbelts, and both were ejected from the vehicle during the crash. Both sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene.
Interstate 81 traffic was not affected; however, State Route 126 remained closed for nearly 4 hours to allow for a safe and thorough investigation of the crash. The scene is now clear, and normal traffic patterns have resumed.
This crash remains under open and active investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit. As such, no further information is available for release at this time.
The Kingsport Police Department continues to stress the importance of all motor vehicle occupants, even those riding in the back seat, wearing their seatbelts. Doing so will significantly decrease the chances of you being ejected during a crash, and it might just save your life.