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Update: Driver in serious condition after dump truck plummets off Kingsport bridge

June 27th, 2013 9:11 am by Rain Smith

Update: Driver in serious condition after dump truck plummets off Kingsport bridge

Emergency personnel in Domtar Park work the scene of the accident. Photo by Rain Smith.

Update: 2:10 p.m.

A dump truck jumped a barrier along Interstate 26 in Kingsport on Thursday morning, plummeting 80 feet off a bridge before landing on the driver’s side in a city park.

The driver was extricated from his cab and transported to Holston Valley Medical Center with serious injuries. Two occupants of an SUV that hydroplaned and triggered the crash also were taken to the hospital with minor, non-life-threatening injuries.

The incident occurred at about 8:45 a.m. in the eastbound lanes, just past the Holston River and above Domtar Park. Kingsport Police Officer Dustin Jackson said  a 2004 Kia Sorento hydroplaned and veered from the left hand lane into the right.

The Sorento was then reportedly struck in the rear by a 2000 Sterling Dump Truck, which had been traveling in the right-hand lane. Officer Jackson said that after separating from the SUV, the dump truck immediately veered left, hitting the inside concrete barrier of the bridge at approximately a 45-degree angle.

The angle of impact allowed the truck to roll up the wall and ride the top, taking out two light poles along the bridge. It then topped the barrier and overturned, falling to the parking lot below. Police estimated the drop at about 80 feet.

The dump truck, driven David O. Jeffers, 50, of Mosheim, landed on its driver’s side in the parking lot of Domtar Park,1414 Riverport Road. Jeffers was extricated from the vehicle by members of the Kingsport Fire Department and Kingsport Life Saving Crew, then transported to the hospital by Sullivan County EMS.

Jackson said Jeffers remained alert and conscious while being treated by emergency responders at the scene. As of Thursday afternoon, he was in serious condition and undergoing surgeries.

The driver of the Sorento that hydroplaned, Daniel A. Roberts, 19, of Kingsport, suffered minor injuries. So did his passenger, 19-year-old Miriah Roemhild, also of Kingsport.

The dump truck’s impact in Domtar Park left a hefty cleanup job for authorities; piles of rubble the truck had hauled, two dislodged streetlights from the interstate above and a large oil spill. 

Domtar Park houses baseball and softball fields for youth and recreation league play.

Traffic in eastbound lanes of I-26 was temporarily blocked immediately following the crash, allowing crews to remove the Kia and debris.

Police said an investigation into crash was ongoing. 

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m.

A dump truck exited Interstate 26 in Kingsport on Thursday morning, plummeting off a bridge and landing in Domtar Park.

At least one other vehicle traveling I-26 was also involved in the crash but remained on the overpass. One lane of eastbound I-26 was temporarily closed as emergency personnel worked to clear that scene, located just past the Holston River.

Simultaneously a large contingent of first responders beneath the interstate attended to the dump truck, which came to rest on its side in a parking lot of the park, 1414 Riverport Road. It left in its wake a large oil spill, piles of rubble it appears to have been hauling and dislodged street lights from the overpass above.

The extent of any injuries are currently unknown, but scanner traffic indicated the dump truck driver suffered a head injury and had to be extricated from the vehicle's cab.

Kingsport police report information on the crash will be released later in the day.

Check back with for updates as they become available.

One lane of eastbound Interstate 26 is closed and traffic is backing up as emergency personnel work the scene of an accident.

A white SUV is blocking traffic on I26 following the accident that involved a dump truck. The truck apparently left the interstate just past the Holston River bridge and plummeted into the parking lot at Domtar Park, coming to a rest on its side.

Fire, police and EMS personnel are at the scene, as well as Hazardous Materials responders who were called out because of a the fuel spill.

The accident happened between 8:30 and 9 a.m.

The extent of injuries is unknown. Police said they expect to issue a statement later today.

Check back with for updates.

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