Pickup truck driver traveling wrong way killed in I-40W crash

5:19 PM, Mar 18, 2013   |    comments
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The driver killed in a fiery crash early Friday morning in East Knoxville has been identified as 24-year-old Scott Lakeland Hankal of Knoxville.

Police say an investigation into the cause of the accident is still ongoing.

Hankal's Dodge pickup truck was headed the wrong way on I-40 shortly after 2:00 a.m. Friday morning when it collided head-on with a tractor trailer.

Update 3:00 p.m.

Knoxville Police have a tentative identification for the man killed in a fiery crash early Friday morning in East Knoxville.

They have not released that identity, saying only that he was in his 20's and lived in Knoxville.  A positive identification will be made with dental records.

The tractor-trailer driver involved was Scott Beaman, 41.  He was not seriously injured.

All interstate lanes reopened earlier on Friday.

Update 9:31 a.m.

A TDOT spokesman said the I-640W detour has been taken down.  Two left lanes of I-40W are now open at the scene of a fatal crash on the interstate near Cherry Street.

Update 9:19 a.m.

Police have pieced together what caused a fatal wreck that closed I-40W near Cherry Street Friday morning.

A Dodge pick-up truck was driving the wrong direction in the eastbound lanes around 2:00 a.m.

A tractor trailer carrying auto parts tried to swerve right out of the pickup's way.  But at the same time, the pickup swerved left directly into the tractor trailer's path causing a head-on wreck.

The collision sent the vehicles in flames to the side of the road where they continued to burn.

The collision killed the driver of the pickup truck. The driver of the tractor trailer has non life-threatening injuries. 

The KPD expects two one or two lanes to reopen before ten o'clock.

Update at 8:30 a.m.

Authorities say it could take up to noon Friday to clear a fatal wreck on I-40W near Cherry Street that closed all westbound lanes.

At the time of this posting, officials are diverting westbound traffic onto I-640W.

KFD Spokesman DJ Corcoran told 10News a City of Knoxville backhoe was used to clear some of the wreck involving a passenger vehicle and a tractor trailer.

According to Corcoran, the truck was hauling an enclosed trailer of car parts.  He said the trailer melted in the fiery wreck then cooled creating a large amount of work for wreckers.

The investigation into what caused the accident that killed the driver of the passenger car and sent the driver of the tractor trailer to the hospital is continuing.

The identities of the drivers have not been released.

Stay with 10News and wbir.com for more information on this developing story.

Update 3:37 a.m.

Knoxville Police, the Knoxville Fire Department and EMS responded to a fiery crash involving a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle on I-40W in East Knoxville at the Cherry Street exit early Friday morning.   

Officials confirmed that one person died in the crash.  Crews said the body was trapped in a passenger vehicle engulfed in flames.

According to a KFD press releases, the crash happened shortly after 2:00 a.m. near the Cherry Street exit.  When firefighters arrived on scene, the two vehicles were fully engulfed in flames.  

Crews transported the driver of the semi to Physician's Hospital, also known as the Old St. Mary's Hospital.

Crews have closed down a section of the interstate while responding to the wreck.  They expect it to remain closed during the early morning rush. Workers are diverting westbound traffic at this time.

The shutdown is at the I-640W interchange.  THP is advising commuters to use that as a detour.

The company of the 18-wheeler, Avritt Trucking, reported that noting toxic was aboard the trailer.  

Previous Story

Knoxville Police, firefighters and EMS responded to a crash on I-40W near the Cherry Street exit at approximately 2:00 a.m.

Crews had to close down a section of the interstate while responding to the wreck. Workers are diverting westbound traffic at this time. KPD is not reporting additional details at this time.

Stay with 10News and wbir.com for the latest details.

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