WJHL.com - UPS truck burned, driver killed in deadly crash on I-81

UPS truck burned, driver killed in deadly crash on I-81

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News Channel 11 viewer David Bary captured billowing black smoke and flames at the crash scene. News Channel 11 viewer David Bary captured billowing black smoke and flames at the crash scene.
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GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL) -

The Tennessee Highway Patrol released more information about a fatal crash that shut down northbound lanes of Interstate 81 at the Greene-Hamblen County line for five hours.

A UPS double-tractor trailer on the northbound side of I-81 hit the back of a pick-up truck towing a camper near mile marker 18, THP said.  The UPS truck hit the guardrail and caught fire.  The pickup truck overturned and also hit the guardrail.

Parcels from the UPS truck were scattered across the grassy median.

THP identified the deceased driver of the tractor trailer as James Berl Tacy, Jr, 67, Covington Virginia.

Pick-up truck driver Kevin J. Bowling, 60, and his passenger Pamela R. Bowling, 57, both of Johnson City were injured.  But THP at the scene said their injuries were minor and didn't require hospitalization.  

A THP spokesman said the investigation was on-going and would be presented to the District Attorney General for review.  No charges were filed as of Monday night.

Interstate 81 north re-opened about 6:30 p.m. Monday.   A man stuck in traffic told News Channel 11 it took almost five hours to get from just south of the crash site through the detour route on Highway 11E to his home in Unicoi County.


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A pickup truck carrying a camper and a tractor trailer crashed on the northbound side of Interstate 81 near the Greene / Hamblen County line Monday afternoon killing the driver of the tractor trailer.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said it happened around 2 p.m.

According to THP, a UPS tractor trailer hit a pickup truck which was hauling a camper. That's when troopers said both vehicles burst into flames.

News Channel 11 viewer David Bary sent in a photo showing billowing black smoke and flames.

Troopers said the driver of the UPS tractor trailer died. However, the people in the pickup truck escaped serious injury and didn't even go to the hospital, according to THP officials.

The I-81 northbound lanes remain closed from mile marker 12 to 23, THP dispatch said. According to THP, the southbound lanes are moving, but vehicles are moving very slowly.

Copyright 2013 WJHL.  All rights reserved.

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