UPDATE at 6:45 p.m.: The Tennessee Highway Patrol has identified a motorist who died after her vehicle was struck by a jack-knifed Coca-Cola tractor trailer on I-24 this morning in Marion County.

Tonya Michelle Marston, 43, of Ider, Ala. was pronounced deceased at Parkridge West, according to a preliminary report released by the agency.

The accident occured at 7:16 a.m. at mile marker 154, involving three vehicles and leaving two others injured.

The series of crashes began when westbound driver, Robert F. Kellerman, Jr.,31, of South Pittsburgh, Tenn., lost control of a 2005 Subaru and crossed the median. His vehicle struck the eastbound Coca Cola freight truck, causing the driver, James Robert Pruitt, Jr. of Scottsboro, Ala., to also lose control.

The tractor trailer then crossed the median, striking Marston, who was travelling westbound in a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu.

Kellerman and a passenger in Marston's car —Austin Brady Allen, 22 —suffered injuries.

The THP report says all persons were wearing seat belts, but that safety restraints would not have made a difference.

The accident forced the shutdown of westbound traffic for several hours.

No citations have been issued or criminal charges have been filed.


A jack-knifed tractor trailer crash on Interstate 24 westbound in Marion County has forced the interstate to shut down. 

The crash was reported at 7:16 a.m. and is expected to be cleared by 10:00 a.m. 

Westbound traffic is being diverted to alternate routes.

This is a developing story. Stay with the Times Free Press for updates.