Word had already spread quickly over the weekend about the third person killed in a fiery head-on crash Friday on Interstate 26 long before Johnson City police officially identified the man.
Derrick J. Carson, 46, Johnson City, was the driver of a silver vehicle that crossed the interstate median from the westbound lanes around 7:30 p.m. Friday and ran head-on into a vehicle headed east into Johnson City.
The two people in that car, Tonya Westmoreland, 48, and Jalynn Chisholm, 17, both of Johnson City, were also killed.
No new details have been released about the crash itself.
According to JCPD Lt. Scotty Carrier, Carson was headed west on I-26 when he lost control, crossed the median into oncoming traffic and hit Westmoreland’s black Nissan Altima head-on.
A third vehicle also hit the Altima, but had minor damage. There were no injuries to the occupants.
Carson’s car caught on fire, but Carrier said forensics had not determined if the crash caused his death. He was dead at the scene, as was Chisholm. Westmoreland died later at Johnson City Medical Center.
Carson was a well-known physical trainer and owned a gym, DC fitness, and had developed a line of ready-made meals called DC Fit Meals. There was an outpouring of comments about Carson on social media.
A GoFundMe page — Westmoreland Memorial Fund — was set up to help pay for Westmoreland and Chisholm’s funeral expenses.
The crash shut down the eastbound interstate traffic flow for five hours and diverted traffic onto the Boones Creek exit during that time. At one point, the entire interstate was shut down while investigators took photos and measurements to aid in determining exactly what happened.
The JCPD traffic homicide team responded to conduct the investigation.