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Fatal crash closes I-40
Jul 07, 2004 12:00 am
While the Fourth of July came and went without any mishaps, a Nashville man was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 40 inside Wilson County's borders, causing a major traffic jam on the major thoroughfare.
Roderick Gaskill, 28, was traveling eastbound on I-40 when his 2001 Freightliner tractor went off the right side of the roadway, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol reports. The tractor-trailer rolled down and embankment and flipped, coming to rest on the driver's side of the vehicle.
"The driver was partially ejected," Tennessee Highway Patrol Operator Brian Jones said. "He was not wearing a seat belt. … In the officer's opinion, safety restraints would've made a difference in the crash."
The crash happened at 5:50 a.m. Monday near mile marker 223 close to the Wilson-Davidson County line. The Tennessee Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash and trying to determine the cause.
Wilson Emergency Management Agency and Nashville Fire and Metro Emergency Management Agency were called to assist with the crash, which shut down eastbound and westbound lanes. Eastbound lanes were closed for eight hours while the westbound lanes were blocked for three hours, WEMA Battalion Chief Joey Cooper said Monday. The closure stemmed from fuel leaking from the Key Oil Company tanker truck, he said.
Cooper said when WEMA arrived gasoline was leaking from the tanker.
"We off loaded the fuel from the tanker onto another tanker," he said. "And we had to test the soil and runoff for any contamination. The scene was released to an environmental control company called First Response."
Both lanes – eastbound and westbound – were cleared and opened shortly before 3:30 p.m., a THP official said.
Two other crashes happened in Wilson County on Monday.
An unidentified woman was injured in a single-car crash in Lebanon near Cairo Bend Road, Lebanon Police Dispatcher James Cothron said.
A vehicle headed westbound on Highway 70 slid sideways and ran off the road near Cairo Bend. The driver fled the scene, and his female passenger was taken to University Medical Center for minor injuries.
More specific details were unavailable at press time.
A single-car crash occurred on Franklin Road early Monday afternoon. The THP trooper investigating the crash could not be reached for comment or details about the crash Monday night.
While the THP and Lebanon police were busy working wreck Monday, the Mt. Juliet and Watertown police departments enjoyed a stormy but uneventful day. It was similar to Independence Day.
"It was a red, white and blue weekend in Mt. Juliet," MJPD Dispatcher Bruce Sherman said. "It wan an all-American holiday."
Wilson County dispatchers also reported an uneventful weekend.
Staff Writer J.K. Devine can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 46 or by e-mail at email@example.com.