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Update: Driver identified in Interstate 26 wrong direction wreck

Staff Reports • Oct 14, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Police have identified the man who died in a car crash on Interstate 26 Saturday night.

In a Tennessee Highway Patrol release, police said 53-year-old Randall Wheeler, of Unicoi, was driving his 1992 Jeep Laredo eastbound on the westbound lane of I-26 at around 8:40 p.m. when he collided head on with 43-year-old Unicoi resident Richard Taylor’s Toyota pickup truck around mile marker 34. Taylor and his passenger, 15-year-old Allison Renee Taylor, suffered unspecified injuries, while Wheeler died.

THP reports showed the Taylors were wearing their safety belts, while Wheeler was not. THP also suspects Wheeler was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Tests have been requested to determine the extent of any drug or alcohol use.

An earlier version of the story below

ERWIN — Police said at least one person died after a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 26 in Unicoi County on Saturday night.

A representative from the Tennessee Highway Patrol said one car was traveling east in the westbound lane of I-26 at about 8:40 when it struck another vehicle, which was going in the proper direction, head-on.

The THP said the driver of the vehicle traveling in the wrong lane died and the driver and passenger of the other vehicle were each injured. The extent of their injuries is unknown at this time.

The accident took place at mile marker 34. More information will be released as soon as next of kin are notified, the THP said.

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