2 Jefferson County teens dead in Knox County interstate crash

2 Jefferson County teens dead in Knox County interstate crash

Posted: Updated:
Jean-Luke Lane (source: Facebook) Jean-Luke Lane (source: Facebook)
Joshua Allen Bullington (source: Facebook) Joshua Allen Bullington (source: Facebook)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Two Jefferson County teen boys who were classmates died early Thursday morning in a crash on Interstate 40 in East Knox County.

The crash happened around 1:00 a.m. near mile marker 395 in the eastbound lanes.

Police say the driver of a 2008 Honda Accord, Jean-Luke Lane, 18, of White Pine, was originally traveling westbound, but he lost control during a heavy downpour.

The Accord spun before flipping onto its side, then traveled across the median on its side and into the eastbound lanes.

It was hit by a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck driven by Athanasios Tsarouhas, 49, of Alpharetta, Georgia.

Lane and his passenger, Joshua Allen Bullington, 18, also of White Pine, were dead at the scene.

Tsarouhas was taken to UT Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Police say they don't yet know if speed was a factor in the crash or if seat belts were being used.

Lane and Bullington went to Jefferson County High School together and graduated in May. Lane's last tweet on Twitter said Bullington was a true friend.

"Everybody liked them and wanted to hang out with them. They were great role models, loved the school and giving back," said Assistant Principal John Cagle.

During Bullington's senior year, he learned to tap dance for the school production of "Chicago." He was also an editor of the year book and voted most school spirited.

"He was the leader of our student section during his senior year," Cagle said. "The riot, we call it the riot."

Lane loved playing football for Jefferson County so much he overcame a broken leg and crushed pelvis from a car crash the summer before his senior year. He played with the team in his final season.

"Jean-Luke, he just had a great big warming smile. He loved the community, loved everybody in the school," Cagle said.

Cagle's office was filled Thursday with grieving staff and students. "The young lady this morning, her first question was why," Cagle said. "I don't have answers either. It's not the way the world's supposed to work."

The teens were enrolled this fall at Walters State Community College in Morristown. Bullington worked at Carmike Cinemas.

The eastbound lanes of I-40 were closed for most of the night due to the crash, with traffic diverted to Asheville Highway.

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