CROSSVILLE - UPDATE: All lanes of I-40 near Crossville reopened around 9:45 p.m. Friday following a multi-vehicle crash that killed three people and injured one other. The westbound lanes were closed for nearly seven hours as crews worked to clear the crash site.
THP released the names of the crash victims late Friday. Officials say 44-year-old Erik New, of Tullahoma, was driving a tractor-trailer with no trailer eastbound on I-40 when, for unknown reasons, he crossed the median into the westbound lanes of traffic.
The tractor-trailer hit a 2016 Nissan Sentra driven by 50-year-old Nancy Tooley, of Tompkinsville, Ky. The Sentra went airborne and started rolling before coming to a stop on the shoulder.
The tractor-trailer then hit another tractor-trailer that was hauling automobiles head on. Both tractor-trailers stopped in the middle of the westbound lanes and burst into flames, THP said.
A fourth vehicle swerved into the median to avoid the crash and hit several pieces of debris, THP said.
New, Tooley and the driver of the second tractor-trailer, Noel Feliciano, 60, of Winchester, Va., were pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger from Tooley's car, 66-year-old Jack Tooley, was flown to UT Medical Center.
The driver of the fourth vehicle and their passenger were uninjured.
PREVIOUS: At least three people are dead after a crash and explosion on Interstate 40 in Cumberland County.
The collision happened at the Crossville exit, mile marker 320, and was reported a little before 3 p.m. Eastern time, according to TDOT Smartway.
Traffic is now being rerouted off westbound I-40. Wreckers also were on the scene to remove impacted vehicles.
According to TDOT, here is the detour route:
Vehicles are being detoured at the 322 off-ramp. Traffic will go south on SR101 that turns into SR392. The traffic will stay on SR392 and then it will intersect US127 (SR028). The traffic will stay on US127 till the US127/I40 interchange (317 mm).
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a tractor-tractor with no trailer was traveling east on I-40 when it crossed the median and hit a tractor-trailer hauling automobiles and a passenger vehicle.
Both rigs caught fire, and the drivers of both of them were killed. The driver of the other vehicle involved was also killed. A passenger in that vehicle was injured and transported by Lifestar to UT Medical Center.
Both a TDOT spokesperson and witnesses on the scene reported there were multiple explosions after the accident, and a large fire sent a huge plume of black smoke into the air.
The westbound lanes of I-40 remain shut down and will likely remain that way for a while. Traffic is being diverted off at Exit 322 (SR101) to SR 1 to US 127/SR 28 and back on at Exit 317.
One eastbound lane is open, though traffic is moving slowly.
Crossville police and city of Crossville personnel were working at the scene.
Kristopher Cole shared his Facebook Live of the scene with 10News. He said the truck had "exploded like 4 times"
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