How the tanker truck wreck that shut down I-40 happened

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The accident that shut down Interstate 40 on Sunday happened when a tanker truck hit an Isuzu abandoned in the middle lane of the interstate.

Interstate 40 was closed in both directions after the 4:40 a.m. accident until early afternoon.

Tanker driver Walter J. Smith, 56, told a Knoxville Police Department investigator he didn’t see the abandoned 2004 Isuzu compact utility vehicle in his eastbound lane until it was too late to avoid hitting it.

The Isuzu had no lights on, according to an accident report by the Knoxville Police Department.

The tanker truck, which was carrying glacial acrylic acid, came to rest on the dividing wall between the east and westbound lanes.

Glacial acrylic acid is a chemical used in industrial processes. The tanker truck is owned by Highway Transport Chemical LLC.

A witness told the investigating officer a woman flagged him down before the wreck and said she had run out of gas and needed to get to the car owner.

The witness gave her a ride to the Royal Inn on Ailor Avenue, the report said.

The Isuzu is registered to Timothy Haviland of Maryville, according to the report.

The witness also confirmed to the police investigator that the Isuzu was stopped on the interstate with no lights on, the accident report said.

There were no injuries reported in the accident.


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