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THP: Man charged after tractor-trailer crash on I-81 North/I-40 East split in Jefferson Co.

A spokesperson for TDOT said one of the tractor-trailers was hauling bread and overturned.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. — A man has been charged following a tractor-trailer crash that happened on I-81 North at the I-40 split, according to a report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol. 

Mecene Estainvill, 49, was charged with due care violations, according to the report. 

The first tractor-trailer was in the second lane, while the second tractor-trailer was in the first lane on I-40 East. According to THP, an unknown white SUV was driving towards I-81 in the first lane and then cut in front of the first trailer. 

The first trailer then swerved left into the first lane to avoid the unknown SUV and hit the second trailer on its right side, THP said. 

The second trailer then went into the ditch next to the first lane and flipped over. It then continued up the embankment and back down into the first and second lanes on its top, according to the report. The second trailer then went up the other embankment beside the second lane where it landed on its top under the I-40 overpass. 

The first trailer continued back into the second lane and pulled off into the grass median next to the first vehicle, where it came to a controlled stop. 

The unknown vehicle continued driving eastbound on I-40, THP said. 

The Tennessee Department of Transportation closed I-81 North at the I-40 split Thursday afternoon. The split is located past Dandridge and traffic was backed up toward the city following the crash. 

By 5:45 p.m., TDOT said both lanes of the highway were back open.

A spokesperson for TDOT, Mark Nagi, also said one of the tractor-trailers involved in the crash was carrying bread and overturned. 

He also said I-81 South was not affected by the crash.

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