Fatal crash closes eastbound I-40 in Dickson County - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports


Driver identified in I-40 fatal crash in Dickson County

Photo courtesy Gary Clardy Photo courtesy Gary Clardy

A fatal crash closed the eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 for several hours Friday in Dickson County.

The crash, involving multiple tractor trailers, was reported about 2 p.m. near mile marker 176 at the intersection with State Route 840.

Investigators with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said at least one commercial vehicle caught fire, and William Slate, 75, of Virginia has died. Two others were taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution.

"It shocks you. You see all this carnage, you see vehicles on fire," said Dickson County EMA Director Rob Fisher.

One of the trailers contained hazardous material, but other information on the cargo has not been released.

"We had two 55 gallon drums rupture. One went over 100 feet in the air, and that's what landed back on the roadway. The other went about 50 and landed over in this field," said Dickson County Fire and Rescue Capt. Keith McVoy.

That started a brush fire along both sides of the interstate that burned dozens of acres. McVoy says for safety reasons, they had to let the hazardous chemical burn.

Area fire departments had to truck in thousands of gallons of water to keep the fire contained.

"I had eight tankers - roughly around 20,000 gallons of water - that I was having to move back and forth each round," McVoy said.

Those rounds went for several hours.

"We've got six miles of traffic backed up and trying to get resources in here. It was a nightmare," McVoy said.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation estimated the eastbound lanes will fully reopen by 1 a.m.

Westbound traffic is affected with rubbernecking delays, and eastbound traffic was diverted to alternate routes.

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