Two people were killed in an early-morning wreck involving a tractor-trailer Monday near Charleston in Bradley County.
The semi was headed northbound on I-75 when the incident occurred. The driver was killed along with a road worker. A state trooper was injured.
The wreck caused the northbound lanes to be closed for a number of hours. Traffic was routed onto Highway 11.
A worker who was killed was from Traffic Specialists, Inc. from Shandon, Ohio. Traffic Specialists, Inc. is doing a project for TDOT to relense the snowplowable pavement markers along interstate and state highways in the 24-county Region 2 area. The job involves replacing the lenses in the reflective pavement markings along the roadways in this area to make them more visible to drivers at night. The THP was assisting with traffic control. The contract crews have been working between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. because traffic volume is lower, officials said.
Jennifer Flynn of TDOT said, "The traffic control was set up as required, with an attenuator (crash) truck in the back of the moving operation and lighted arrow signs. THP was also on scene in front of the attenuator truck and behind the relensing operation. At approximately 3:30 a.m. EDT a fully loaded tractor trailer hauling live chickens hit the attenuator truck at a very high rate of speed at mm 34, causing the attenuator truck to flip and hit the trooper’s car (which he was in) and one of the contract workers who was actually out of his vehicle. The chicken truck driver and the contract worker were killed and the trooper was injured.
"There was a TDOT inspector on the project, but at the time of the crash he was on the southbound side of I-75 with the second Traffic Specialists crew who were working in that direction."
The THP’s crash investigation team investigated the crash, and the roadway was reopened to traffic at 11:30 a.m. EDT.
Although this work was being done in the fog zone, conditions were clear and fog did not contribute in any way to the crash, it was stated.
The project cost is $275,381.49 and it is slated for completion on or before Nov. 30.