UPDATE: Two killed, THP trooper injured in early morning acciden - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Two killed, THP trooper injured in early morning accident in Bradley County

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BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - It was a tragic scene on Interstate 75 after a crash involving a tractor trailer, TDOT truck and a highway patrol car. Two people were killed.

It happened in the early morning hours in Bradley County claiming the lives of the semi driver and road worker. It happened around 3:30 a.m. Monday just north of the Charleston exit on 75. We're now getting a look at the official crash report, which lays out what happened in those final moments for 53-year-old truck driver Charles Morgan and road worker, 28-year-old Nicolas Feller.

It took eight hours of examining the crash scene and clearing debris before northbound lanes re-opened around lunch time. Two families were told their loved ones weren't coming home from work.

"The tractor trailer looked, I don't know if it rolled over of what it did, but it was badly mangled," truck driver Tom Vogel said.

Vogel drove up on the wreckage. He says he was shocked to see the condition of the tractor trailer-- the one 53 year old Charles Morgan of Grainger County, Tennessee was driving.

"You know I've seen accidents before, but you don't usually see something that bad," Vogel said.

The crash report says Morgan was driving the truck full of live chickens through a marked construction zone. At the same time, 28-year-old Nicolas Feller of Ohio was out of his truck doing work for Traffic Specialists, Inc contracted through TDOT.

"Putting reflective lenses in those pavement markers that are along interstates," TDOT Spokesperson Jennifer Flynn said.

That's when investigators say the tractor trailer ran into the back of the TDOT truck, which hit and killed Feller. The trucks also crashed into a state trooper who had stopped to help. The trooper is already out of the hospital. The truck driver also died.

"Their whole lives have changed in an instant just because of a moment of inattention or something and it's bad," Flynn said.

TDOT says it schedules this type of work for the overnight hours when traffic is lighter and also designs their trucks to absorb impacts from behind, but since Feller was out of the vehicle, nothing could be done to save him when the tractor trailer slammed the truck into him.

"They're risking their lives every day just doing their jobs and it's sobering. It's a sobering thought," Flynn said.

The trucking community says it's also a wake up call.

"I'm sorry somebody had to die and just need to constantly be alert and careful," Vogel said.

The crash report says the tractor trailer driver, Charles Morgan, was not wearing a seat belt. THP says there's no indication Morgan was under the influence, but are awaiting lab results.

TDOT wants this to be a reminder of the Move Over Law, that requires drivers to switch lanes when approaching a road crew, and if you're not able, slow down.

 

 

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