SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) — Road debris is a big problem in Middle Tennessee.
According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), in Davidson County alone, crews bring back one ton of litter and road debris every shift, on average.
Rebekah Hammonds with TDOT reported that, as of October 2022, it costs Tennessee $9,537,525 for contracted litter pickup on Interstate & State Highways. Hammonds said that’s a 14% increase from July 2020 to October 2022.
Sometimes, the cost of road debris can be much more serious.
In Spring Hill this week, a random couch in the fast lane of Saturn Parkway almost took a man’s life. It happened Tuesday afternoon near the Kedron Road Exit.
As officers approached, they saw a couch pulled to the side of the road by Good Samaritans.
Police video also shows workers who stopped and cleared the passing lane to get rid of the stuffing that came out of the couch.
When the officer got to the wreck, the extent of the damage was evident as the officer saw a pick-up truck on its roof.
According to police, the driver of the pick-up truck either hit the couch or tried to avoid the couch and then flipped.
Thankfully, the 51-year-old was wearing his seat belt and suffered no serious injuries.
Officer: “So it must have fallen off somebody’s truck.”
Officer: “Did you all see what happened?”
Witness: “I did in my rearview mirror. He just went to avoid that, which was in the fast lane, hit it, swerved and just flipped.”
Cordan: “This guy is lucky to be alive, all because someone didn’t tie down their load, and then didn’t stop. Rude, but dangerous.”
Lt. Mike Foster: “Yes, he is lucky to get out, sitting on the guard rail appears to be ok. it could have ended much worse for him.”
While doing this story, News 2 documented a lot of road debris including a recliner on the side of I-65.
We also see many items in the back of many vehicles — some of them secure and some of them loose or just hanging on.
So far, Spring Hill police are not sure how the couch got on the side of the road, but if anyone has any information they want to hear from you.
“We’d like to speak to them and find out the circumstances of how the couch got out of the vehicle and onto the roadway,” Foster added.
According to the THP, from June 2022 to Dec. 31, 2022, officers responded to 1,739 calls for service to deal with road debris in the Nashville District.
The Nashville District includes Davidson, Williamson, Sumner, Wilson, Rutherford, Robertson, Montgomery, Cheatham, Dickson, Stewart, Houston and Humphreys counties.