Tractor trailer wrecks on I-81 in Blountville; driver injured

Rain Smith • Oct 19, 2010 at 12:43 PM

A Tuesday morning wreck on Interstate 81 in Blountville sent the driver of a tractor trailer to the hospital, with responders working more than three hours to clear the scene.

It occurred at about 6:38 a.m. Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Julian Robinson said the tractor trailer was northbound at Exit 69 when, according to witnesses, it veered off the right side of interstate.

The tractor trailer traveled between a row of several trees located between the exit ramp and interstate, side swiping the final tree and shearing it in two. It then hit a concrete culvert that runs parallel to Highway 394, causing severe damage to the front of the cabin.

Robinson identified the driver as Larry Joseph Gant, 49, of Stockbridge, Ga. He was transported by EMS to Bristol Regional Medical Center with unknown injuries.

It took about three and a half hours for the accident scene to be cleared. Traffic on Highway 394 was temporarily blocked as crews removed the totaled truck from the culvert, loading it onto a flatbed tractor trailer shortly after 10 a.m.

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