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After avoiding deer, tractor trailer wrecks on Interstate 81

Matthew Lane • Aug 27, 2018 at 2:09 PM

BLOUNTVILLE – A tractor-trailer truck carrying 40,000 pounds of orange juice and protein bars crashed early Monday morning on Interstate 81.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the driver and the passenger of the truck sustained minor injuries in the crash and were transported to the Bristol Regional Medical Center for treatment.

The THP reports that the driver — 28-year-old Buta Singh Sandhu — swerved to miss a deer at about 4:45 a.m. on Monday near mile marker 70 on I-81.

The truck ran off the left side of the road, then Sandhu over-corrected back to the right, which caused the tractor-trailer to flip onto its side. The truck then slid down the road and eventually blocked both southbound lanes of the interstate.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident.

The truck was out of Sacramento, California, and loaded with about 40,000 pounds of Tropicana orange juice and Gatorade protein bars. Nick Yarber, with Yarber Tire and Towing of Kingsport, said workers were on the scene by 5:30 a.m. assisting with removing the truck from the roadway and unloading the cargo.

“We’ll be towing off the damaged truck and we’re trying to salvage what we can for the company,” Yarber said.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation responded to the crash at about 5 a.m. with a loader and traffic control devices and assisted Yarber in pushing the overturned tractor-trailer from the roadway to the open left lane, said Mark Nagi, spokesman for TDOT.

The THP reports that drugs and alcohol are not suspected in this crash. Charges against the driver are pending.

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