Workers from T & E Wrecker Service climb the steep hill to U.S. Highway 19E after attaching the towing cable to a pickup truck on Tuesday evening. (John Thompson/Johnson City Press)
ELIZABETHTON — The driver of a 1999 Ford F-250 survived a 250-foot drop from U.S. Highway 19E not far from the Carter-Sullivan County line on Tuesday afternoon.
Wilburn L. Norris, 43, Johnson City, was transported by Wings helicopter to the Johnson City Medical Center. The Tennessee Highway Patrol said Norris will be charged with a first offense of driving under the influence.
Dalya Qualls of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said the accident happened at 5:49 p.m., as Norris was driving south towards Elizabethton. She said the truck drifted toward the median, causing the driver to over correct the steering.
The over correction caused the truck to cross back over both southbound lanes of traffic, then go off the right shoulder. Qualls said the truck hit the guard rail and flipped over it. The truck then rolled down the steep and unforested bank for approximately 210 feet.
T & E Wrecker Service responded to the crash and had to use 150 feet of cable and another 60 feet of chains to reach the wrecked truck.