Three killed, five injured in I-40 accident

Deadly I40 Crash
This crash on I-40 killed three people and injured five
This crash on I-40 killed three people and injured five

(WMC-TV) – A deadly Interstate crash brought rush hour traffic to a halt near Brownsville, Tennessee Monday night. Three people were killed, and five people hurt, Bill Dunn with the Tennessee Highway Patrol confirmed.

The crash happened right around 5:30 in the eastbound lane of I-40 near Brownsville at Exit 55 in Haywood County.

Chopper Five captured the exclusive video in the aftermath of that crash, as traffic in both directions of I-40 came to a complete stop during the rescue efforts. A witness says it all started when the white crew cab pickup truck ran off the road on the eastbound side of the interstate. He said the truck ran all the way across the median into the westbound traffic hitting a guard rail before it struck an 18 wheeler flat bed truck. Upon impact, the 18 wheeler ran across the median almost hitting cars in the eastbound lanes where the pickup truck had just come from. The witness says he narrowly avoided being hit by the 18 wheeler. When he walked up to the pickup he saw bodies on the ground and two men still alive.

"You knew that it was a horrible, horrible accident. It was very scary," the witness said. "You can't help someone. You want to help someone. You don't know if they are lifeless or they do have life and your hands are tied on just what you can do."

The witness says the victims in the pickup truck only spoke Spanish. Those still alive, he says, were in shock when he tried to talk to them. He said all the deceased were in that truck.

It took crews hours to clean up the scene. Debris was everywhere and the diesel fuel and antifreeze had to be cleaned up before traffic could continue moving.  

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.