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UPDATE: I-26, I-81 interchange clear, road re-opened

May 9th, 2014 5:37 pm by Staff Report

UPDATE: I-26, I-81 interchange clear, road re-opened

Kingsport Central Dispatch said the interchange between interstates 26 and 81 is clear of all debris from two incidents of accidents and collisions involving multiple vehicles.

The I-81 interchange along I-26 was shut down at around 4:10 p.m. Friday after several cars collided along the interstate. Despite as many as five cars being disabled in the accident, Kingsport Police Department Public Information Officer Tom Patton said no one sustained serious injuries.

"They had some minor bumps and bruises, but nothing serious," Patton said.

Though no major injuries were reported, eastbound traffic began to back up as authorities worked to clear the scene. Efforts to reopen the interstate hit a snag, however, when a second accident occurred in the same area more than 90 minutes after the first.

Despite the delay, KCD said the KPD recalled its officers at around 7 p.m. and that the interstate had been reopened in its entirety.

REPORTED EARLIER:

A second accident in the area of Interstate 26 and Interstate 81 has added to emergency responders' efforts to clear the area that had previously been impeded by a multi-car collision.

According to Kingsport Central Dispatch, the accident occurred at around 5:40, almost an hour-and-a-half after a previous multi-car accident had closed down eastbound traffic along I-26.

Efforts were underway to reopen the interstate before the second accident occurred. KCD advised that motorists seek alternate routes of transportation as authorities work to reopen the interstate. 

Check back here for more details on the situation as they emerge. 

REPORTED EARLIER:

A five-car accident along Interstate 26 has caused a shutdown of eastbound traffic near the Interstate 81 interchange, but one official said no one was seriously hurt.

Kingsport Police Department Public Information Officer Tom Patton said that, despite the number of vehicles involved in the accident, their occupants suffered "minor" injuries.

"They had some minor bumps and bruises, but nothing serious," Patton said. "Anything with fast speeds like that and no one getting hurt is always a good thing."

Because the wreck took place near the interchange, however, Patton said the I-26 eastbound lane of traffic was shut down to ensure the safe removal of all wreckage.

"Traffic was kind of backing up from people trying to get off 81 and onto 26," he said.

Patton added that he expected the interstate would reopen sometime this evening.

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