Here in Rutherford County, the extended Thanksgiving weekend has already suffered a fatality on the interstate. It occurred at 11:50 late Wednesday night (11/26/2014) on the Sam Ridley Parkway exit ramp and I-24 eastbound (toward Chattanooga). A La Vergne man was killed, and a Murfreesboro man was injured in the 5-vehicle crash.
Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Carl Seagroves explained that a 2007 Chrysler 300 was stopped in the far right lane, near the merge lane of the Sam Ridley Parkway exit ramp that goes onto eastbound I-24. A 1989 Honda Accord struck the Chrysler in the rear. At that point, Decarlos Blackshear exited the Chrysler. It was then that a 2004 Ford Escape reportedly swerved to avoid hitting the Honda, and hit Mr. Blackshear, who was in the travel lane.
Highway Patrol Spokesperson Dalya Qualls told NewsRadio WGNS that Blackshear was 34-years old and lived in La Vergne. He died at the accident scene.
Trooper Seagroves notes that the MVA (multi-vehicle accident) escalated as the Ford Escape rolled across the interstate and slammed into the center median barrier. The Escape was then hit by a 2005 Ford Focus and 2008 Hyundai Sonata. Those two vehicles were able to come to a controlled stop on the interstate, and there were no injuries in those vehicles.
In addition to the fatality, 31-year old Keith Knowles of Murfreesboro was injured in this 5-vehicle crash late Wednesday night. He was driving the Honda.
I-24 eastbound was closed until approximately 2:30 Thanksgiving morning, while investigators gathered information and crews cleared the debris.