Violent incident on I-840 causes 3-mile long traffic jam, chain reaction crash


WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Last week the medical examiner said Rodney Garrett shot himself on I-840 and then fell into speeding traffic in Williamson County.

The Smyrna man was wanted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for the attempted murder on his wife.

News 2 has obtained multiple videos of the investigation as deputies worked two breaking investigations approximately three miles apart.

The incident involving Garrett, who reportedly shot himself, happened at mile marker 42 in the eastbound lane.

The chain reaction crash involving big rigs happened at mile marker 39.

Video shows multiple squad cars racing westbound, passing thousands of stopped cars to get to the wreck which reportedly involved multiple vehicles and semi trucks.

“Initially the report came out that a semi hit several vehicles. You kind of imagine a worst case scenario, especially when semis are involved,” Lt. Chris Mobley said.

When the first deputies arrived, they found a mess of crumpled metal. Officers could be seen rushing to the cars, ready to help victims.

Deputies say a Yukon slammed into the rear of the 370 Z. The 71-year-old driver was shaken up, but not seriously injured.

Investigators say the driver of the Yukon was responsible for the chain reaction crash, reportedly driving too fast for conditions.

“Apparently he was distracted, not paying attention, and couldn’t stop in time and swerved to the right and struck four other vehicles,” Lt. Mobley said.

A deputy interviewed one of the truck drivers involved in the wreck. He told investigators he was stopped when a tire from the Yukon flew off and struck the rear of his big rig.

“This lane was backed up pretty far and I merged to the left lane, and he was behind me and I don’t think he knew that the traffic was at a dead stop. And all I heard was ‘boom’ and I looked in my rear view and he was like this way,” the driver told investigators.

Another witness told deputies a similar story, saying he saw a tire fly off the Yukon and hit the back of this semi truck.

“I heard a boom and looked in my mirror and saw that Yukon flipping and flailing,” the witness said.

“The fact that everyone walked away was definitely a happy surprise,” Lt. Mobley added.

According to deputies, the Yukon struck four vehicles including a wrecker and two semi trucks.

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Deputies say the investigation is closed. Nobody was cited.

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