Crash closes I-40, leaves 1 dead in Smith Co. - WKRN News 2

Crash closes I-40, leaves 1 dead in Smith Co.

Posted: Updated: March 9, 2011 9:52 PM CST

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Interstate 40 West in Smith County was shut down for several hours Wednesday following two early morning accidents, including one that left a man dead.

The first crash at mile marker 262 in Cookeville was reported around 4 a.m.

Police on the scene told Nashville's News 2 a semi-truck overturned and that caused a second tractor trailer truck to flip over.

Four miles east, also in the westbound lanes, the traffic backup caused a white Plymouth Neon sedan to rear-end a tractor trailer around 6:30 a.m.

The driver of the car, identified as Kevin Foster, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Foster, 27, was from the Baxter area, officers said.

"[The driver] had pretty good speed, but obviously the speed limit through here is 70.  I haven't done a speed assessment yet to know what the speed would be at the time of him hitting the rear end of the trailer, but, yeah he was moving along pretty good," Sgt. Mark Dial of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told Nashville's News 2.

Traffic was diverted off the interstate and drivers were urged to avoid the area if possible.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation estimated the road to remain partially shut down until about 6 p.m. Wednesday evening.

What caused the first semi-truck to overturn was also not known.

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