MILLERSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There have been 165 wrecks over the last two years on a section of I-65 in Millersville known as the ridge.
First responders told News 2 when they respond to this stretch of highway, they are wary that one wreck can quickly turn into multiple.
There was an early morning van fire on that stretch of highway at around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday and first responders said they were very aware that one incident could quickly lead to a chain reaction if drivers were not paying attention.
The van caught fire in the downhill southbound lanes of I-65 between the 104 and 102 mile markers.
Body camera video shows the fiery aftermath as fire engines and police cars filled up one of the lanes of traffic.
Fire officials told News 2 the driver of the van was a musician who was traveling south when his 12-person custom van started to smoke. The driver got out without injury and was is able to salvage one piece of equipment, but everything else was burnt to a crisp.
Body camera video shows periodic flashes as combustible materials inside the vehicle ignited while firefighters battled the blaze.
The driver told officers he had been experiencing some electrical issues prior to the blaze that suddenly just happened.
According to police, one wreck here can quickly become multiple wrecks because it’s downhill, windy, curvy, and drivers often don’t see the stoppage until it’s too late
“So when you hear there’s an incident at the mile marker at the ridge, what do you think immediately?” News 2’s Andy Cordan asked.
“The worst will happen and we got to make sure we don’t have a secondary accident come up on the first accident, and that happens a lot,” said Lt. Bob Watson with the Millersville Police Department.
Firefighters told News 2 the cause of the fire is most likely electrical in nature.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) sent News 2 the following statement regarding precautions the department is taking along that stretch of I-65:
“TDOT has placed warning signs out for the crosswinds and flashing beacon signs for the curve at the bottom of the downgrade. When there is an incident, we make sure to have a queue protection vehicle set up in the area as quick as possible and are planning to include automatic queue protection warning signs in the construction project that widens this area of I-65.”