Morning wreck halts traffic for hours on Interstate 40

JACKSON, Tenn. — Around 6 a.m. Monday morning, we received reports of a large wreck along Interstate 40 near mile marker 85.

“A commercial vehicle traveled off the roadway and struck an impact attenuator,” said Lieutenant Christopher Hosick with Tennessee Highway Patrol. “That collision caused an axle from the tractor trailer to come loose, and when that transpired, the axle went on to the eastbound side and impacted the second commercial vehicle. So we had a crash on the eastbound and the westbound side simultaneously.”

Once the semi truck in the westbound lane was struck, the cab of the truck was fully engulfed in flames.

“The driver and the passenger who was in the sleeper of the first vehicle, the initial crash, were transported to Jackson General and did receive treatment,” Lieutenant Hosick said. “According to the report that I’ve received, there [are] no injuries on the eastbound second tractor trailer.”

It took nearly three hours for crews to get traffic flowing again. Due to construction, there’s a lack of lane shoulders on I-40, making it difficult for crews to get to the scene.

“We typically have to run the emergency vehicles and the wreckers the wrong way down the interstate because of traffic closures, so it’s always a challenge, and of course contributes to the difficulty of getting the road opened up in a timely manner,” said Lieutenant Hosick.

Officials are not aware if the vehicle that was entering the interstate was distracted or speeding. But they encourage drivers to focus on the road, especially when traveling on I-40.

“It is so important to make sure that driving is the only thing you have on your mind at that time, you know, any kind of distractions can lead to some really devastating consequences,” Lieutenant Hosick said. “So the main thing for everybody to understand is please just make driving your number one priority when you’re behind the wheel.”

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