UPDATE: Truck drivers killed in I-75 crash identified - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Truck drivers killed in I-75 crash identified

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BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: A crash in Bradley County killed two people and temporarily shut down a part of Interstate 75 late Tuesday night.

The crash involved a logging truck and a semi carrying U.S. mail.

Tennessee Highway Patrol’s preliminary accident report says a semi carrying mail rear-ended a logging truck. Investigators said the driver did not hit the brakes before the crash.

Half a dozen first responders surrounded the deadly wreck on I-75 Tuesday night. THP troopers said it happened just before 11:30 p.m.           

Troopers said the logging truck was traveling northbound when a semi in front of it blew a tire. Mmoments later another semi hit the back end of the logging truck.

"As he was exiting the road to the shoulder, the mail truck, a U.S. Mail truck hit him on the back end killing the driver and a passenger in the mail truck," said Sgt. Alan Bailey with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Troopers spent hours investigating the crash, they said logs were hanging off the semi, but it's not clear if they were properly marked to show drivers behind the logging truck the depth of perception.

"He probably didn't recognize the first tractor trailer was slowing down, the log truck and he ran into the tractor trailer,” Sgt. Bailey said.

Investigators identified the victims as 66-year-old Harry Johnson and his passenger 60-year-old James Crosby. Both men worked for Mail Contractors of America, a company that transports U.S. mail across the country.        

Crosby’s daughter Amy Byrd said her father drove for the company for several years, each time he left for one of his routes she prayed for his safety.

"He’s a truck driver and I know what can happen with those semis I know they can jackknife. I was constantly worried about him, all the time,” Byrd said.           

We reached out to Mail Contractors of America for comment, all they could say was that their thoughts and prayers are with the families.

Byrd said her father was an experienced driver and she's looking for answers about what happened.

"He was so meticulous with his books because he's been doing this all his life. He knows the importance of keeping logs, he knows the importance of getting sleep, he knows the importance of driving safely. He knows the importance of not driving when you're tired,” Byrd added.

It’s welcome news to some, but that won't bring Amy’s dad back home.

"I can't help but think that my dad had already switched off or would have been driving this wouldn't have happened,” Byrd said.

Truck drivers that travel more than 100 miles away from their home are required by law to keep record of driving and sleeping hours. investigators plan to look at the logs prior to the crash to determine if things like fatigue played a role.

The family is raising funds to support the victims.


PREVIOUS STORY: According to a Tennessee Highway Patrol preliminary report, the two people killed in the overnight crash on I-75 were not wearing seat belts.

The crash involved a logging truck and a mail truck. Two people were killed in the mail truck, both of them from Florida.

The logging truck was traveling northbound when a semi in front of it blew a tire; it attempted to get onto the shoulder. The mail truck struck it from behind without braking. Both trucks continued for a few hundred yards before getting onto the right shoulder.

The driver of the mail truck was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger was found in the sleeper portion of the cab, had to be extricated and was also pronounced dead at the scene.


PREVIOUS UPDATE: A crash has closed the right northbound lane on I-75.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the crash happened just after 11:30 p.m. north of Exit 20 near mile marker 23.  

Two vehicles were involved, and two people were injured. At this time, Channel 3 is told that the injuries are serious. 

Officials say it will be several hours before the scene is clear.

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