KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Investigating Serious I-81 Crash Involving Overturned Tractor-Trailer (Update: Suspect in Jail/Surviving Victim Improving)

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Investigating Serious I-81 Crash Involving Overturned Tractor-Trailer (Update: Suspect in Jail/Surviving Victim Improving)
DATE: March 28, 2023
CASE #: 23-006057 (Crash Report)

23-006068 (Incident Report)

GENERAL NARRATIVE
Update: Vehicular homicide suspect, Saul A. Carrera, has been discharged from the hospital and has been transported to the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville. His booking photo has been included in this update.

Investigators have also been notified that the surviving 17 year old victim (listed as Pedestrian #5 below), who was previously hospitalized in critical condition, remains hospitalized; however, his condition has been improved to stable, and he appears to be on the road to recovery.

As previously released:

Update: On March 26, 2023 at approximately 7:00 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to a motor vehicle collision involving an overturned tractor-trailer on southbound Interstate 81, just north of exit 63 (Airport Parkway) in Kingsport. Due to the serious nature of the crash, the K.P.D. Traffic Unit was called to the scene to investigate. Their subsequent findings are as follows:

A white 2017 Chevrolet Express van, occupied by eight males, was southbound on Interstate 81 just north of exit 63 (Airport Parkway) when the left front tire became flat and the driver pulled the van onto the right-hand shoulder. Three of the occupants remained in the van. Five of the occupants exited the van and began working to repair the flat tire.

Shortly thereafter, a red Peterbilt tractor-trailer, driven and solely occupied by Saul A. Carrera (60 years of age of New York, NY), was southbound on Interstate 81. The tractor-trailer veered to the right onto the shoulder, sideswiped the van, and struck all five of the pedestrians who were working to repair the tire.

The tractor-trailer continued south a short distance, and then jack-knifed and overturned off the right side of the roadway. Mr. Carrera received non-incapacitating injuries and was transported by Sullivan County EMS to an area hospital for treatment.

Four of the five pedestrians were killed. The fifth pedestrian sustained suspected major injuries and was transported by Sullivan County EMS to an area hospital for emergency medical treatment. As of the time of issuance of this release, he remains hospitalized in critical condition. The identities of the victims are detailed in the accompanying tables.

The three occupants who remained inside the van were not injured.

Based upon officers’ observations and evidence collected at the scene, investigators established probable cause to determine that Mr. Carrera was operating the tractor-trailer while impaired. A warrant was obtained, charging him with the following:

  • Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication (4 counts)
  • Reckless Aggravated Assault
  • Felony Reckless Endangerment
  • Driving Under the Influence in a Commercial Vehicle
  • Failure to Exercise Due Care

As of the time of issuance of this release, Mr. Carrera remains hospitalized in stable condition under police guard. Upon his discharge, he will be taken into custody and transported to jail. His bond has been set at $200,000.

As a result of this crash and the lengthy investigation that followed, the southbound lanes of Interstate 81 remained closed for several hours; however, they have since been reopened.

This remains an open and active investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit. As such, and in the interest of future prosecution, absolutely no further details can or will be released at this time.

As previously released:

On March 26, 2023 at approximately 7:00 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to a motor vehicle collision involving an overturned tractor-trailer on southbound Interstate 81, just north of exit 63 (Airport Parkway) in Kingsport. Due to the serious nature of the crash, the K.P.D. Traffic Unit is responding to the scene to investigate.

All southbound lanes are currently blocked. Northbound traffic is likely to be affected as well. Southbound traffic is currently being diverted at exit 66 (SR 126). TDOT is responding to implement detours. Specific inquiries regarding these detours should be directed to TDOT.

Motorists are strongly encouraged to avoid the area for the next several hours. Anyone already in the area is asked to slow down, pay attention, exercise caution and patience, and obey all traffic instructions.

No further details involving the crash are currently available. Further information will be shared as it becomes available, but only at an appropriate point in the investigation.

SUSPECT INFORMATION
Name Saul A. Carrera
Age 60 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency New York, NY
Charge(s) · Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication (4 counts)

· Reckless Aggravated Assault

· Felony Reckless Endangerment

· Driving Under the Influence in a Commercial Vehicle

· Failure to Exercise Due Care

COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION #1
Make Peterbilt
Model Semi
Year 2014
Type Tractor Trailer
Color Red
Damage Disabling Damage
Driver Name Saul A. Carrera
Age 60 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency New York, NY
Injuries Non-Incapacitating Injury
COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION #2
Make Chevrolet
Model Express
Year 2017
Type Van
Color White
Damage Disabling Damage
Passenger Name Francisco Maurisio
Age 38 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Gadsden, AL
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Julio Cesar
Age 25 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Gadsden, AL
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Miguel Roman
Age 30 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Gadsden, AL
Injuries No Injury
PEDESTRIAN #1 INFORMATION
Name Victor Aguilar Rosas
Age 22 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Crossville, AL
Injuries Fatal
PEDESTRIAN #2 INFORMATION
Name Jesse James Delacruz
Age 49 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Fayetteville, TN
Injuries Fatal
PEDESTRIAN #3 INFORMATION
Name Not Released Due to Minor Age
Age 17 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Crossville, AL
Injuries Fatal
PEDESTRIAN #4 INFORMATION
Name Jose Urbano Serrano Ramos
Age 25 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Crossville, AL
Injuries Fatal
PEDESTRIAN #5 INFORMATION
Name Not Released Due to Minor Age
Age 17 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Gadsden, AL
Injuries Suspected Major Injury
RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

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