CROSSVILLE (WATE) – Three people are dead after a fiery crash on Interstate 40 in Cumberland County Friday afternoon.
The crash was reported just before 2 p.m. Central time near mile marker 320. The Tennessee Highway Patrol says a truck tractor not hauling anything, driven by Erik New, 44, was going eastbound when, for unknown reasons, it crossed the median and went into the westbound lanes.
The truck hit a Nissan Sentra driven by Nancy Tooley, 50, causing it to go airborne and start rolling before coming to a rest in the grassy area to the right of the westbound shoulder.
New’s truck then went on to hit a tractor trailer hauling automobiles driven by Noel Feliciano head on. Both vehicles stopped in the middle of the westbound lanes and burst into flames.
New, Tooley and Feliciano were all pronounced dead on the scene. Nancy Tooley’s passenger, Jack Tooley, 66, was flown to UT Medical Center. He was expected to be released Friday night.
Another vehicle driven by Dwight Crosswhite, 66, had to swerve into the median to avoid the crash and hit several pieces of debris in the process. Neither he nor his passenger were hurt.
Autopsies are pending and the investigation is ongoing.
Traffic in both directions was diverted for a time. Eastbound lanes opened a few hours after the crash. Westbound lanes reopened around 9 p.m. Central time. Westbound traffic is diverted at Peavine Road, exit 322.
More: Interactive traffic map