KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Police Department said one person is dead after two different crashes involving a minivan on I-40 West Thursday night. On Saturday, authorities identified him as David Joseph Morgan, 57, from Maple Heights, Ohio.
KPD said investigators believe the light blue minivan had been involved in a crash with a white van around 9:40 p.m. just minutes before the second crash. The first crash disabled the minivan in the center lane of I-40 near the Strawberry Plains Pike exit, police said.
The second crash happened around 9:45 p.m. According to KPD, a tractor-trailer crashed into the disabled minivan, causing the driver to be ejected from the vehicle.
The man, who was the only occupant of the minivan, was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS.
All westbound lanes were briefly closed because of the crash, according to police. All eastbound lanes were also closed except for one, authorities said.
A second tractor-trailer was struck by debris. No other serious injuries were reported in the crashes.
A few miles east around 1 a.m., a secondary crash involving two semi-trucks occurred as a result of slowed traffic at Strawberry Plains Pike, KPD said. Both trucks were on fire when crews arrived, but no injuries were reported.
The identity of the crash victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The investigation is ongoing at this time.
KPD said it is looking to contact the driver of the white van involved in the first crash with the light blue minivan. Investigators are asking the driver to call them at (865) 215-7268.