Emergency responders survey the wreckage after a three-vehicle collision closed down U.S. Highway 11E Monday afternoon. (Photos by Gary Gray/Johnson City Press)
Both men who were hospitalized after a three-vehicle collision closed down U.S. Highway 11E for a portion of Monday afternoon were listed in stable condition a day later.
On Monday, Jerry Triplett, 65, 116 Terrace St., Elizabethton, and David A. Colman, 54, 1780 Bibles Chapel Road, Midway, were taken to Johnson City Medical Center after their vehicles collided while traveling along 11E.
Officers with the Washington County Sheriff's Office said the crash occurred after Triplett, who was driving a dump truck loaded with sand in the right lane of 11E, tried to pass a horse trailer that was traveling in front of him. As he moved into the left lane, deputies said, he came into contact with the horse trailer, and then moved across the left lane and into the center lane, where he came into contact with a flatbed truck driven by Colman, who was waiting to turn left onto Sand Valley Road.
The resulting collision, deputies said, caused Triplett's dump truck to overturn and trap him inside. Rescue personnel extricated Triplett from the wreckage and transported him and Colman to JCMC for treatment. As of Monday evening, Colman was listed in stable condition, but Triplett was critical.
On Tuesday afternoon, however, Mountain States Health Alliance Communications Manager Teresa Hicks said both men were listed in stable condition.
A press release from the WCSO indicated the investigation into the crash was ongoing, and charges are pending.
Reported on Monday:
One man was listed in critical condition and another was stable after they were involved in a three-car accident that also closed down eastbound traffic on U.S. Highway 11E for more than three hours.
On Monday at around 12:15 p.m., a dump truck overturned after colliding with a cattle trailer and a flatbed truck as it was traveling east near the intersection of 11E and Sand Valley Road.
According to WCSO Lt. Randall Wines, the driver of the dump truck, Jerry Triplett, 65, 116 Terrace St., Elizabethton, was driving east in the right lane near Sand Valley Road and attempted to pass the vehicle that was traveling in front of him, a cattle trailer driven by Howard McCurry, 59, 106 Walter Keplinger Road, Jonesborough.
When Triplett moved into the left lane, Wines said, he struck the rear of McCurry's trailer, which did not contain any cattle. After the collision, Wines said, Triplett's dump truck moved into the center lane and struck a Sterling flatbed straight truck, driven by David A. Colman, 54, 1780 Bibles Chapel Road, Midway, which was waiting to turn left onto Sand Valley after traveling west on 11E.
"It was almost a head-on collision," Vines said. "But it sort of happened at an angle."
After striking Colman's truck, deputies said, Triplett's dump truck overturned, spilling his cargo — a load of sand — onto the roadway and trapping him inside. Deputies said Washington County/Johnson City EMS workers and members of the Jonesborough Fire Department extricated Triplett and transported him to Johnson City Medical Center. Colman was also taken to JCMC for what deputies referred to as "minor injuries."
According to Mountain States Health Alliance Communications Manager Teresa Hicks, as of Monday evening, Colman was listed in stable condition, while Triplett was critical.
The incident itself is still under investigation by the WCSO's CRASH team and, deputies said, charges are pending. The road remained closed, Vines said, as emergency crews and Tennessee Department of Transportation employees worked to clear it of wreckage, sand and diesel fuel. It reopened at around 4:15, he said.
Details about a dump truck and flatbed tractor trailer are still unavailable, but Washington County Sheriff's Lt. Randall Wines said Highway 11E is now open. The crash, which happened around 12:30 p.m. injured both drivers, officials said.
Both men were transported to the Johnson City Medical Center by Washington County/Johnson City EMS, officials said. The driver of the dump truck was in surgery but the condition of the other driver was unknown.
Wines said more information will be available later this afternoon.
Earlier article posted at 12:36 p.m.:
A dump truck loaded with sand and flatbed truck have collided on Highway 11E at Sand Valley Road. Few details are available, but a 911 dispatcher said there are "severe injuries."
Reports from the scene are that one of the drivers is entrapped and rescuers are working to free him from the wreckage.
No information on any potential victims or the circumstances surrounding the crash has been made available at this time.
The Johnson City Press has a reporter on the way to the scene.
Check back for updates.