Fallen tree on I-75 causes fatal crash

First responders on the scene of a Sunday night crash on I-75 that killed one person and injured two others. Source: Rural/Metro

Stormy weather apparently led to the death of a Lake City man late Sunday night when a fallen tree on Interstate 75 triggered a three-vehicle crash in North Knox County.

The accident happened shortly after 11:10 p.m. near mile marker 114 when stormy weather caused a tree to fall into the northbound lanes of the interstate, authorities said.

A 2017 Ford Escape driven by 26-year-old Dylan Braden of Lake City apparently struck the tree. Braden then stopped his vehicle so he could get out and inspect the damage, according to preliminary information provided by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. 

A 2005 Toyota Avalon driven by Jesse Goforth, 33, of Charlotte, N.C., managed to avoid hitting the tree but stopped so Goforth could get out and see if Braden needed assistance.

A 2006 Hyundai Elantra driven by Tammy Harrell, 61, of Clinton, then drove up on the scene and tried to avoid hitting the tree but instead struck the concrete wall. Harrell then lost control of the car and plowed into both men, killing Braden and injuring Goforth, the THP report said.

Harrell was also injured, according to the report. 

The two injured people were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment. Their conditions weren’t available Monday.

“Multiple persons were transported to the trauma center with different degrees of injuries, and there was one fatality at the scene,” said a spokesperson for Rural/Metro Fire Department. “Please pray for these affected families.”

The spokesperson added: “Weather is going to be an issue as we travel on the roads for the next few days. Please be careful and be alert for constant changes in road conditions.”

Published on August 17, 2021.