UPDATE: Tuesday, 4 p.m. – The victims were identified by Knoxville Police as Randall Ball, 58, of Jefferson City, and Latisha Beck, 56, of Morristown. Police added the third victim who remains hospitalized with critical injuries is a 48-year-old man.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two people are dead from a crash involving multiple vehicles on I-40 West near the Knox-Sevier County line, according to the Knoxville Police Department spokesperson Scott Erland.
The crash happened around 7 a.m. on I-40 near Midway Road on Monday morning.
The preliminary investigation found that a Chevy truck was driving on I-40 East and crossed the median for “reasons that remain unknown” and hit a Chevy SUV that was on I-40 West. Then the truck reportedly hit a semi-truck.
The two people in the Chevy SUV were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Chevy truck was taken to the UT Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
Crash reconstruction investigators were dispatched to the scene to conduct further investigation.
Erland said the crash is still under investigation.
I-40 West reopened at 11:25 a.m. following the crash and response, according to Knoxville Police.
Knoxville Police officials had earlier said officers were working the scene and all westbound lanes between exits 407 and 402 were closed for an extended time and traffic was being diverted.
Sevierville Police officials had said earlier the I-40W entrance ramp at Exit 407 “will be closed for an extended time due to the fatal accident” at mile marker 402.
Around 7:38 a.m., the Sevierville Police Department tweeted out that the I-40 westbound entrance ramp at the 407 was closed due to Knox County and TDOT “working a fatal accident,” the agency also asked that the drivers use an alternate route.
Also at 7:38 a.m., the Knoxville Police Department shared the following information on Twitter:
“KPD officers are working a serious crash on I-40 West at Midway Road. Expect extended delays and seek alternate routes if possible.”
By 7:47 a.m., TDOT SmartWay indicated that the traffic incident at Exit 407 had closed all westbound lanes as well as the shoulders.
KPD tweeted another update on the crash at 8: 24 a.m. further affirming emergency crews’ ongoing response to the fatal crash.
“The crash on I-40 West at Midway Road is a fatal crash. Crash reconstruction investigators are on scene,” KPD’s tweet stated. “All lanes of I-40 West are closed between exits 402 and 407. Traffic is being diverted. This will be an extended closure. Updates will follow.”
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.