Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include the identities of the deceased, confirmed by THP.

UPDATE: According to Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), a second person has now died as a result of a tractor-trailer crashing into a house in Erwin on Sunday morning and the driver has been charged with criminally negligent homicide.

A THP report states that a tractor-trailer, driven by Robenson Vertus, 41, of Connecticut, was traveling west on Interstate 26 when it left the roadway, traveled through an interstate boundary fence, went across Rex Lewis Road and crashed into a two-story house.

Erwin’s Fire Chief Jason Harris told News Channel 11 that he hasn’t seen anything like this in his career.

“This is probably the first one of these that I’ve dealt with in my career, and I’ve been here 24 years so, you know, we’ve dealt with a lot of stuff, extrication from vehicles to house fires,” he said. “But to have a road tractor trailer plow through a house, it made it difficult.”

THP reported Sunday, one of the three people inside the house died and two people were critically injured. As of 10 a.m. on Monday, THP confirmed another person died due to their injuries. THP identified the two fatalities as Kirandeep Kaur, 31 and Jaswinder Kaur, 54.

Vertus was taken to the Unicoi County Jail after he received treatment for minor injuries, THP stated.


ERWIN, Tenn. (WJHL) — One person is dead and three are injured after a tractor-trailer reportedly left Interstate 26 and crashed into a home in Erwin on Sunday morning.

Unicoi County Emergency Management Director Jimmy Erwin confirmed that one person has died and two others were injured at the residence during the crash. Erwin said the driver of the tractor-trailer was also injured.

Erwin said the truck was traveling westbound on I-26 near mile marker 36 when it veered off of the road and struck the home near Rex Lewis Lane.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) said charges are pending against the semi-truck driver.