Trooper hit while running from chain-reaction crash on I-24

Trooper hit while running from chain-reaction crash on I-24


WKRN News 2 Reporting

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – A trooper was struck by a car and a tow truck driver seriously injured in a multi-vehicle chain reaction crash on Interstate 24 in Montgomery County late Thursday night.

WKRN News 2 reports that the accident happened around 9:20 p.m. near the Rossview Road exit outside of Clarksville.

It began when Trooper Julio Lasalle responded to a single-vehicle crash caused by an alleged drunk driver.

Authorities said Norma Moore, 51, lost control around a curve and left the roadway, striking an embankment.

She was taken to Gateway Hospital with injuries and charged with DUI.

As the trooper worked the scene in the emergency lane, a Ford F150 driven by 48-year-old Richard Brown slowed down quickly in the left lane of traffic.

A Suzuki sedan driven by 21-year-old Jessie Elizabeth then merged behind the F150 right in front of a tractor trailer.

The tractor trailer struck the Suzuki, sending it backward.

Officer Lasalle heard the impact, turned around, and saw the Suzuki heading right for him. He took off running, trying to avoid the car, but was ultimately struck in his hip and back area.

He was knocked to the ground and transported to Gateway Medical Center with minor injuries where he was treated and released.

The impact also caused the tractor trailer to lose control. The semi swerved out of the left lane and into the emergency lane, directly into the tow truck responding to the DUI crash.

The driver of the tow truck, identified as 47-year-old James Walker, was critically injured.

He was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. His condition has yet to be released.

The driver of the tractor trailer, identified as 41-year-old Christopher Basel, was also injured but refused medical treatment at the scene.

Authorities reported the drivers of the Ford F150, Suzuki sedan and tractor trailer are all facing charges pending the outcome of an investigation.

I-24 was shut down as officials worked the scene. The roadway reopened five hours later just after 3 a.m.