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Five accidents slow down Sunday evening holiday traffic
Nov 27, 2012 3:50 pm
After a relatively quiet Thanksgiving holiday, five vehicle accidents Sunday afternoon slowed holiday traffic in Wilson County.
Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen said most of the crashes were caused by "following too closely and not paying attention."
His officers worked two accidents, one called in at 5:02 p.m. from mile marker 239 that involved four vehicles that resulted in two people injured, and another at 5:40 p.m. that resulted in one person sent to Vanderbilt Medical Center in critical condition. Bowen said the traffic slowdown created by earlier accidents contributed to these two wrecks.
"Most accidents on the interstate are due to excessive speed and people not paying attention," Bowen said, adding that Sunday evening's multiple crashes caused other drivers to rubber neck, leading to more trouble.
"Sunday, we had five wrecks total in a couple hours between mile markers 243 and 235," he said.
Bowen said since a traffic tie up a year ago following a truck carrying potatoes crashed leaving motorists stranded for 24 hours, law enforcement officers have instructions to move vehicles onto alternative routes as soon as possible.
"We have a diversion plan to get people off the interstate," Bowen said. "But these multiple crashes take a lot of resources and manpower."
According to Tennessee Highway Patrol Spokeswoman Dalya J. Qualls, the highway patrolmen worked three crashes on I-40, two crashes in the eastbound lane involving seven vehicles total and one crash in the westbound lane involving three vehicles, while the Lebanon officers worked a Sunday wreck that led to serious injuries.
"The first crash happend at 4:25 p.m. on I-40 eastbound at mile marker 241 involving two vehicles," Qualls said in an informal report. "One vehicle had slowed down due to congestion. Another vehicle then struck this vehicle in the rear and both vehicles came to rest in the median. Two occupants in the vehicle that was struck suffered minor injuries and were transported to Summit Medical Center."
She said the next crash happened at 4:45 p.m. on I-40 westbound at mile marker 241 and involved three vehicles and no injuries. Again, traffic had slowed due to a previous crash and an SUV struck a Honda Accord in the rear, pushing the Honda Accord into another SUV. There were five occupants total and no injuries reported. One lane was closed about 35 minutes due to an SUV disabled on the inside lane.
"The next crash happened at 4:48 p.m. on I-40 eastbound at mile marker 240 and involved five vehicles. Traffic had slowed due to two previous crashes," Qualls said. "One vehicle failed to stop and rear ended a vehicle, causing a chain reaction. Two people suffered minor injuries and were transported to University Medical Center in Lebanon.
"It was basically a nightmare [Sunday] night, but the good thing was that no one was killed," said Bowen.