Interstate 24 Shut Down for Over 3 Hours after Serious Crash
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), a 1996 Ford Explorer driven by Wendell Rogers JR age 39 of Smyrna exited the interstate westbound into the Manchester Scales at mile-marker 116 apparently believing it was a rest area. A Trooper approached the vehicle were it had stopped to check on the driver. At this time the Trooper observed the driver to allegedly be under the influence with the driver refusing to exit the SUV and left the scale complex at a high rate of speed.
A second Trooper was nearby and located the vehicle and pursued the vehicle for a short distance where it crashed at mile-marker 109. The vehicle overturned ejecting the driver and partially ejecting passenger, Jamie Hiles age 35 of Woodbury. Both individuals were flown by air ambulance because of their injuries. Rogers went Vanderbilt Medical Center and Hiles was transported to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.
The THP report says that the individuals were not wearing seatbelts.
Charges are pending.
Two other non-life threating accidents occurred during the clean-up of the first crash. One near Exit 114 and the other near Exit 110.