Ochs Highway on Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee, was shut down Saturday morning after a descending 18-wheeler collided with three vehicles, resulting in one fatality and two injuries.
Runaway Truck Collides With Multiple Passenger Vehicles
Chattanooga Police identified the victim as Mallory Pyles Baldshun, formally of Macon, Tennessee. Police said the driver of the International Prostar tractor-trailer, James Wilson, crossed the double line around 10:40 a.m. after his truck’s brakes malfunctioned.
UPDATE: Ochs Highway has been reopened to traffic after a crash killed one person and sent two others to the hospital. https://t.co/IAsCiIr10k
— Times Free Press (@TimesFreePress) February 18, 2018
Wilson attempted to put the truck into a ditch, but speed resulted in him sideswiping two vehicles before running head-on into Baldshun, who was driving a Toyota Tacoma pickup. A Chrysler Town and Country van and a Subaru, heading up the mountain, received minor injuries, neither drivers of those vehicles received injuries requiring hospitalization.
Hospital authorities stated that Baldshun’s child, a juvenile passenger, and Wilson were in stable condition at a local Chattanooga hospital with minor injuries and are expected to fully recover.
Crash Results In Hazmat Spill
Wilson’s vehicle carried hazardous materials of the acid variety which required a HAZMAT crew and the 24-hour closure of Ochs Highway. The Chattanooga Fire Department stated that none of the acid escaped the tanker but that various fluids leaking from the 18-wheeler had to be cleaned up before the highway could be reopened.
Police have asked all drivers to avoid the area until cleanup is concluded. Police said the chemical leak was minor and no longer considered a risk to the health of local inhabitants.
Police are investigating weather as another factor as it was raining at the time of the accident. Authorities stated that traffic should use the scenic highway until further notice.
The crash remains under investigation.