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Motorcycle convoy crashes with tractor trailer on I-81

Rain Smith • May 23, 2018 at 2:40 PM

UPDATE, 4:35 p.m.:

FALL BRANCH — A Wednesday afternoon series of collisions on Interstate 81 in Fall Branch sent at least two motorcycle riders to the hospital, set a tractor-trailer ablaze and blocked northbound lanes.

The incident occurred near the Sullivan and Washington county line at about 1:30 p.m.

According to Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Nathan Hall, a convoy of motorcyclists was traveling to Washington, D.C., as part of the annual "Ride to the Wall."

The THP said one motorcycle collided with a Walmart tractor-trailer. That motorcycle was dragged by the trailer, igniting a fire that engulfed it. 

Separate motorcyclists traveling behind the initial wreck then collided and crashed.

The truck driver was unharmed. The extent of the injuries suffered by the motorcycle riders was not immediately known.

The crash and subsequent cleanup of the scene closed northbound I-81 and snarled traffic for hours.

Traffic was detoured off at Exit 50 and onto Highway 93, leading to delays on that roadway as well.  

UPDATE: 

A series of collisions on Interstate 81 in Fall Branch has sent at least two motorcycle riders to the hospital, set a tractor trailer ablaze and blocked northbound lanes.

The incident occurred near the Sullivan and Washington county line at about 1:30 p.m. According to Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Nathan Hall, a convoy of motorcyclists was traveling to Washington D.C. as part of the annual "Ride to the Wall."

The THP said one motorcycle collided with a Walmart tractor trailer. That motorcycle was dragged by the trailer, igniting a fire that engulfed it.

Separate motorcyclists traveling behind the initial wreck then collided and crashed.

The truck driver was unharmed. Extent of injuries suffered by the riders was not immediately known.

As of 3 p.m., the THP was hoping to soon have one of the northbound lanes opened. Closure of the interstate had stopped motorists for miles to the south of the crash scene.

Check back soon with TimesNews.Net for additional photos from the scene.

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KINGSPORT - Northbound Interstate 81 near mile marker 50 is completely closed due to a motor vehicle accident.

Motorists should make every possible effort to plan an alternate route and avoid the area, so as to avoid unnecessary congestion and delays. Anyone already in the area is asked to obey all traffic instructions, exercise caution and patience, and drive with a heightened sense of awareness.

According to the Kingsport Police Department, the crash is being investigated by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is in the process of setting up detours.

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