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Kingsport man killed in fiery crash on I-81

BECKY CAMPBELL • Jan 10, 2007 at 10:54 AM

The charred wreckage of a Dodge Dakota pickup lies on Interstate 81 Wednesday night. Police say the vehicle was traveling southbound when it crossed the median and struck a northbound tractor-trailer between mile markers 64 and 65.


A Kingsport man died Wednesday in an interstate head-on collision after his pickup crossed the grass median, crashed into a tractor-trailer and caught fire, according to Kingsport Police Department Officer Bobby Schmutzler.

Henry J. Mojeske, 60, of the Rock Springs community of Kingsport, died in the crash around 7 p.m.

The wreck occurred on Interstate 81 between mile markers 64 and 65, just south of the Carolina Pottery exit.

Evidence gathered from the white 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup, including a Bible with Mojeske's name and the vehicle's registration, helped Schmutzler identify Mojeske.

"It looks like he was returning from a trip," Schmutzler said because he recovered a suitcase from the vehicle.

He said the pickup was traveling south on the interstate and crossed the median and into the northbound lanes.

The truck burst into flames on impact with the tractor-trailer, and the driver was not able to get out, he said.

The tractor-trailer driver, Jason Johnson, of Mississippi, was not injured, Schmutzler said.

Northbound interstate traffic came to a standstill for more than an hour and backed up for miles as emergency personnel worked the scene.

The crash accounts for the first fatality in Kingsport in 2007.

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