THP trooper, truck driver identified in crash that killed TDOT contractors


ARLINGTON, Tenn. (WKRN) — The THP trooper involved in a serious crash on I-40 Wednesday morning in West Tennessee has been identified.

A crash report also lists the truck driver who allegedly hit multiple vehicles, which caused a chain reaction responsible for causing the fatal accident that killed two TDOT contractors, injured another and that THP trooper.

The THP crash report states that semi-truck driver, Mervin Crigler, struck the rear of a stationary truck in a construction zone which caused another stationary car to exit the roadway and crash into a treeline.

Crigler’s truck then struck the rear of a THP patrol car which hit and killed TDOT contractor, Justin Stafford. Trooper Lejulian Roy was inside the car at the time and suffered injuries from the crash.

The trooper’s car continued and hit another vehicle, which was empty, before exiting the roadway to the right, striking a guardrail, and going down the embankment into the treeline, the report states.

As the semi-truck continued its motion, another pedestrian was hit before the truck went down the embankment and into the treeline, where it stopped.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the two workers were struck and killed. 30-year old Justin Stafford (Salyersville, KY) and 22-year old Jared Helton (Salyersville, KY), both employees of A & A Safety, died at the scene of the crash. A third employee, Cody Cantrell (Salyersville, KY), was injured in the crash and is currently hospitalized. The men were part of a work crew installing reflective pavement markers along the interstate.

This is an ongoing investigation. It’s unclear if or when Crigler will face any charges.

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