KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville Police officials say a 29-year-old woman has died after a multivehicle crash along I-140W in Knox County Wednesday morning. She had reportedly been riding a personal electric scooter in a travel lane of the interstate.
On Thursday morning, KPD released the identity of the victim after notification of the next of kin. The victim has been identified as Anett Williams, 29, of Louisville, Tenn.
A traffic crash report issued on Friday by KPD states that a man driving a 2015 Ford F-150 was traveling around 5 a.m. along I-140W three miles east of Northshore Drive when he initiated a lane change to the right into the outside lane to allow faster traffic to pass when the electric scooter operated by Williams “suddenly appeared from the darkness” and he was unable to avoid her.
The driver collided with Williams, who was operating an HT-T4 MAX battery-operated scooter, and the report states physical evidence at the scene indicates a point of impact around three feet inside the outer solid white lane line, and gouge marks were apparent in the pavement. The scooter twisted laterally across the front of the driver’s truck and Willaims struck the right front and windshield. She was declared dead at the scene upon the arrival of EMS personnel.
The traffic crash report also states there were no indications of any type of intoxicant usage by either the driver or Williams.
As for the electric scooter, manufactured by the Emoko company, the HT-T4 MAX has a top speed of 20 mph, a range of up to 37 miles and has a 2.5-watt LED headlight and small LED taillight. The crash report states the functionality and status of the light could not be determined at the scene “but it is likely that the lights do not meet the distance or brightness requirements” of applicable public roadway laws.
“This section of I-140 is exceedingly dark with no overhead lighting and minimal (if any) illumination from bordering properties,” the crash report states. “Williams was not wearing any type of reflective clothing or other safety equipment.”
The operation of an electric scooter on the interstate is unauthorized and a violation of TCA-55-8101 (rules of the road) and TCA 55-8-154 (minimum speed requirements).
The investigation into the crash remains ongoing at this time.
KPD stated in its Thursday release that based on the investigation conducted by crash reconstruction personnel at the scene, Williams was riding an electric scooter in a travel lane when she was struck by a Ford pickup truck, which remained on scene. Williams was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation reported the crash at 5:47 a.m. near mile marker 7 along westbound Pellissippi Parkway, which is near the Northshore exit. Emergency crews responded to the scene and traffic was delayed and congested for hours.
In a social media update shared later Wednesday morning, KPD stated that “a woman riding a personal electric scooter in a travel lane of I-140W for unknown reasons was struck by a vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. The involved vehicle remained on scene.”
KPD also said crash reconstruction personnel are leading the investigation.