UPDATE: Multi-vehicle crash on I-24 east in Chattanooga kills 1 person, halts traffic Tuesday night [video]

UPDATE: Multi-vehicle crash on I-24 east in Chattanooga kills 1 person, halts traffic Tuesday night [video]

February 6th, 2018 by Staff Report and Rosana Hughes in Breaking News

Traffic is seen backed up around Interstate 24, near the interchange with Tennessee Route 27, because of a fatal accident in the eastbound lanes just south of the Market Street exit on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter /Times Free Press.

UPDATE: Police determined that Domingo Lopez, the driver of a 2004 Honda Civic, attempted to change lanes too closely to a 2015 Freightliner. Lopez spun across all lanes, hitting and going under a 2003 Kenworth on the left side of the Freightliner, according to a CPD news release.

An unrestrained, juvenile passenger was ejected from the Honda Civic and died from injuries on the scene. 

All other passengers in the Honda Civic were transported to local hospitals for treatment of minor injuries sustained in the crash.

The CPD Traffic Division is currently investigating.

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ORIGINAL STORY: At least one person died in a multi-vehicle crash just before 5 p.m. Tuesday on Interstate 24 eastbound near the TN-58 south/Market Street/Lookout Mountain exit.

Chattanooga police said two tractor-trailers and one car were involved in the crash that initially shut down all eastbound lanes, bringing traffic to an abrupt halt. It wasn't clear how long all lanes were closed, but at least one lane had been reopened by 6:30 p.m., and all lanes were open shortly after 9:20 p.m.

An empty, small, silver- or gold-looking car was seen on the interstate as investigators took notes with flashlights and spotlights. It's entire rear window had been smashed out and its trunk was crumpled into itself. Its right rear tire was visibly flat, and parts of the car's body was either crumpled or hanging off.

Red taillights snaked along the interstate, hugging the Tennessee River late Tuesday evening, slowly growing brighter as the sun set. Blue lights from a police car could be seen speeding along the shoulders of the interstate, quickly making its way to the crash scene that was just across from Howard High School.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation's Smartway website reported the crash was expected to be cleared by 11 p.m. and westbound traffic was not affected.

Contact staff writer Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327. Follow her on Twitter @Hughes Rosana.

A vehicle involved in a fatal accident rests in the eastbound lanes just south of the Market Street exit on Interstate 24 on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter /Times Free Press.

Law enforcement inspect a vehicle involved in a fatal accident in the eastbound lanes just south of the Market Street exit on Interstate 24 on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter /Times Free Press.

This is a developing story and was updated Feb. 7, 2018, at 11:17 a.m.


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