2 dead, 1 transported to hospital following I-40 crash

2 dead, 1 transported to hospital following I-40 crash

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Two people died and one received severe injuries after being hit on Interstate 40 West near Cedar Bluff. 

Knoxville police say a 1963 VW Beetle with two occupants had broken down on I-40 West between Cedar Bluff Road and Pellissippi Parkway. The driver of the second vehicle, a 1996 Nissan Skyline, stopped to see if he could assist the occupants of the Beetle when the driver of a third vehicle, a 2002 Honda Accord, lost control of his vehicle and slammed into the the three motorists and their vehicles.  

It is unknown at this time why the driver of the Honda, 20-year-old Francisco Javier Zarate Rodriguez, lost control of his vehicle.  

The driver of the VW, 22-year-old Joshua Hensley,  and the driver of the Nissan, 20-year-old Jake Jennings, were both pronounced deceased on the scene.  The female passenger from the VW, 20-year-old Brittany Branch, was transported to UT Medical Center with serious injuries.  The driver of the Honda and his passenger were both transported to UT Medical Center.  The driver was treated and released and was immediately transported to the Safety Building to be interviewed by investigators.  The passenger from the Honda was being treated for what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.   

The driver of the Honda was interviewed and was charged with two counts of Vehicular Homicide, one count of Vehicular Assault, Driving Without a License, No Insurance, and Failure to Maintain Control of his Vehicle.  

The accident is still under investigation. 

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