Multiple wrecks across the Lakeway Area Monday and Tuesday have resulted in four fatalities.
A long-time Cosby volunteer firefighter was one of two men killed in a crash reported at 6:45 a.m. Monday near the 443 mile marker on Interstate 40 in Cocke County.
Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper Mark Self said a rollback wrecker owned by Hartford Towing was westbound pulling a trailer loaded with wooden pallets when it was struck from behind by a 2008 Mazda, operated by Andrew Scott, 43, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The impact tore the trailer loose from the wrecker. The driver of the wrecker, Roger Shane Hawk, 31, Tobacco Way, Hartford was able to pull the wrecker and trailer onto the left side emergency shoulder.
Following the crash, the Mazda came to rest in the grass median; however, some of the debris was on the roadway.
After coming to a stop, Hawk and his passenger, Elmer Clayton Ball, 33, Roy Road, Cosby, exited the wrecker to check on the damage to the towbar of the trailer as well as Scott’s.
The wrecker operators were walking toward the rear when the load of pallets was struck by a westbound rig.
Trooper Tyler Hall said some wooden pallets were on the roadway, and the operator of the 2000 Mack truck may have swerved to avoid the debris.
The driver, Ricky Lee McCurry, 50, Shelby, North Carolina, reportedly was on his cell phone talking with his wife, when he ran into the parked wrecker and trailer.
Hall said something struck Ball as he walked on the shoulder, however, investigators have not determined exactly how he was killed.
McCurry died in the cab of his rig, and Ball was thrown under McCurry’s trailer.
Hall said the rollback was being used to haul pallets which came from another crash at a nearby location on the interstate, about a month ago.
Scott was taken to Newport Medical Center for a routine toxicology evaluation and he also was treated for a minor leg injury sustained in the crash.
Hall said charges may be filed against Scott, following consultation with the office of District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn, and pending the toxicology screen.
The westbound slow lane was closed down for six hours after the crash.
Elmer “Clayton” Ball was a life time member of the Cosby Volunteer Fire Department, having served with the department for 13 years.
Funeral services will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, in Manes Funeral Home Chapel in Newport. The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Wednesday prior to the funeral.
Burial will be at 11 a.m. Thursday in Webbs Creek Cemetery.
Unfortunately those were not the only vehicular deaths in the area.
Monday afternoon, around 1:28 p.m. a 2009 International Tractor Truck, driven by 67-year-old Virginian James Berl Tacy Jr., was northbound on Interstate 81 near mile marker 18 when his vehicle was struck from behind by a 2008 Chevrolet 1500, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Taylor.
When the Chevrolet, being driven by 60-year-old Johnson City resident Kevin Bowling, struck the truck, it careened into the median, struck the guardrail and burst into flames.
The Chevrolet overturned and also struck a guardrail.
Tacy was pronounced dead at the scene.
Taylor said Bowling had been drinking and criminal charges are pending.
Bowling, and a passenger, Pamela R. Bowling, 57, were injured.
Northbound lanes were shut down for several hours, and traffic was rerouted, while officers worked the scene. The fourth fatality occurred Tuesday morning, around 7:38 a.m., a Nissan pickup truck was headed southbound on U.S. Highway 25E, near Croxdale Road. It began to drift off the road, according to Morristown Policed Department officer Eddie Dilbeck.
Dilbeck said the driver overcorrected, which caused the pickup truck to flip over another vehicle.
The driver was ejected and killed. His identity had not yet been released at press time.
A female juvenile who was strapped into her carseat was uninjured, according to police.
Occupants of the other vehicle were also uninjured.
- From Staff Reports