Ochs Highway reopened after fatal crash

Ochs Highway reopened after fatal crash

February 17th, 2018 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

Reader photo: An overturned 18-wheeler can be seen from near reader John Sullivan's property in Chattanooga. One person died and two others were injured in the wreck. Sullivan said that rain, power lines, a steep terrain, nightfall and a structurally compromised trailer are slowing the cleanup process.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Last updated at 1:55 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018 with additional information.

UPDATE: Ochs Highway has reopened to traffic, according to a tweet from the Chattanooga Police Department.

ORIGINAL STORY: One person was killed and two others were transported to a local hospital after a crash Saturday morning on Ochs Highway. 

An 18-wheeler coming down the highway hit three vehicles traveling up the mountain and overturned at around 10:40 a.m., according to a news release.

James Wilson, the driver of the 18-wheeler, told police he lost his brakes and tried to put his vehicle in a ditch but could not slow down. The 18-wheeler sideswiped a Chrysler and Subaru before it struck a Toyota Tacoma head on. 

The driver of the Tacoma, Mallory Baldshun, was pronounced dead on the scene and a juvenile and Wilson were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.

The 18-wheeler was loaded with hazardous material and a hazmat team responded to the scene.

Residents living near the site were told by police on scene to evacuate due to the spill coming from the truck, resident Wilson Browning said. Police spokeswoman Elisa Myzal confirmed the Chattanooga Fire Department was "handling fluid leaking" from the truck and that all information about the leak would need to come from CFD. 

The Environmental Protection Agency also sent representatives to investigate. 

Evacuated residents can now return to their homes but cannot use Ochs Highway to do so, according to a tweet from the police department account. 

Police are currently investigating and ask anyone with information about the incident to call 423-698-2525.