Jackson Woman Jumps from Vehicle on I-40

Cyndi Lundeberg

MAIDSON, Tenn. - Tennessee Highway Patrol says 18-year-old Melissa Carver jumped from a van at 70 miles per hour Friday night. She did not survive.

Trooper Jason Page was on the scene the night of the accident.

"The driver noticed the interior light came on when she was driving down the road," he said. "And by the time she realized what was going on, [Carver} was partially out of the vehicle."

Page said the driver told THP that she tried to stop Carver but was unable. Page said the driver's ability to stay on the road and safely stop before calling for help likely saved the lives of other drivers.

"[The driver] was very upset she tried to prevent it, but there's really nothing she could do at seventy miles and hour as the driver," said Page. "She still had to control the vehicle."

Drivers who travel along I-40 said anything can happen while traveling at high speeds, but they try to prepare themselves anyways.

Burl Clarke is traveling to New Orleans and said he frequently sees people behind the wheel not paying attention.

"That's the big problem," he said. "It's all based on trust and other distracted drivers can case you problems."

Trooper Page said Carver had had a fight with her boyfriend prior to exiting the vehicle. A driver in a Jeep Cherokee following the car was unable to stop before hitting her.

Travelers said they have no idea what they would have done if they had been in Friday's tragic situation .

"I just try to watch my following distance," said Clarke. "I try to allow enough distance for stopping."

Trooper Page said being alert while behind the wheel is the best way to save lives.

"Of course they can where their seat belt, but I would just pay more attention to the road instead of distractions around your vehicle."

No other people were injured and no other vehicles were damaged in Friday nights incident.


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