Wrong-way driver dies after head-on collision on I-40 - WKRN News 2

Wrong-way driver dies after head-on collision on I-40

Posted: Updated: Nov 12, 2013 4:40 PM CST
James Deng James Deng

A 35-year-old woman was killed after she entered Interstate 40 traveling the wrong direction early Tuesday morning in west Nashville and struck another vehicle head-on.

Police believe Christie Martin, driving a Kia sedan with a Pennsylvania license plate, entered I-40 West at Charlotte Pike traveling eastbound around 2:30 a.m.

She collided with a Toyota minivan and died at the scene.

The impact caused the minivan to fly into the air and spin 180-degrees before landing.

The driver of the minivan, 50-year-old James Deng, was conscious and talking when medics arrived.

He had to be extricated from the vehicle and was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he was last listed in stable condition.

Deng's family told Nashville's News 2 the married father of four was driving home from work when the accident happened.

At least five people called police to try to stop the wrong way driver before the deadly crash.

"The car was coming at me full speed and I basically just tried to duck it and get out of the way," one of the callers told the dispatcher.

"He nearly ran into me head on. I had to go all the way across the highway to miss him," said another.

Dwayne Roberts witnessed the crash and told News 2 he was driving next to the Toyota. He pulled off to the right side of roadway when he saw the oncoming vehicle, but said it happened too fast for the driver of the Toyota to do the same.

"It was pretty scary. Before I could react, it was already too late," Roberts said. "They hit driver's side to driver's side and both cars flew up into the air and swapped ends."

District Fire Chief George Hickey told News 2 that in his 37 years of work, the crash is one of the most violent he has seen.

According to family members in Delaware, Martin had recently moved to Nashville from out of state.

There was no evidence at the scene that alcohol or drugs contributed to the collision.
Martin was not wearing a seatbelt, police said.

I-40 West was closed between White Bridge Road and Charlotte Pike following the crash and drivers were diverted. The highway reopened just before 7 a.m.

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