ROGERSVILLE –– A Mooresburg woman was killed and two persons injured Tuesday when a tractor-trailer turned into her lane on U.S. Highway 11W near Sneedville Pike.
According to a report by Trooper David Good with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, around 1:23 p.m. on Tuesday, Ashley Nicole Lawson, age 18, of Mooresburg was fatally injured when a 2005 Volvo tractor-trailer pulled into her path as she was traveling north on U.S. 11W. Jon Hazapariu of Luling, Texas, drove the tractor-trailer. He was uninjured.
The 2000 Daewoo four-door sedan driven by Lawson was traveling north in the left lane on U.S. 11W. The tractor-trailer was traveling south on U.S. 11W when Hazapariu attempted to make an improper left turn from the median onto Sneedville Pike. The tractor-trailer struck the Daewoo in the left northbound lane of U.S. 11W.
Lawson was wearing a seat belt when the accident occurred. According to the report, restraints would not have made a difference in the outcome.
Injured in the accident were passengers in Lawson’s car, Jordan Clark Stiles and an infant, both of Mooresburg. Both passengers were wearing restraints at the time of the accident. The infant’s name is not mentioned due to being a minor.
Criminal charges are pending in the accident, according to the report filed by Trooper Good.
As reported at therogersvillereview.com, the accident investigation by the THP closed U.S. 11W for several hours. Traffic was diverted through downtown Rogersville and other side streets. Traffic was heavy through downtown after the 3 p.m. school dismissal time.
Another accident in front of Holston Electric Cooperative on West Main Street later that afternoon further snarled traffic during the investigation.
Rogersville Police Chief Doug Nelson commented about the wreck on Thursday.
“Some of our guys got there about less than a minute after it had happened,” Nelson said. “I saw the guy lying on the ground and we knew there was a young girl trapped in the vehicle. The EMS cut the top off the car to help the girl. It took a bunch of us to get the bumper off the truck.”
Nelson noted that the state had placed plastic barricades at the Sneedville Pike intersection several years ago when the 11W bypass was widened to four lanes. “ The white plastic posts were knocked down over time and never replaced,” Nelson said.
When asked if he talked to Hazapariu, Nelson said that when a commercial vehicle is involved in a wreck, RPD follows protocol to call the THP. “When it is a commercial vehicle like that, we call the state. We didn’t want to tamper with the investigation. We wanted to make sure things were like they were when they happened,” Nelson added.
In the accident reconstruction team sent by THP, there were at least 10 troopers involved in the investigation, according to Nelson.
According to other media outlets, bystanders helped to get the infant and Stiles out of the smoking car until first responders from Hawkins County Rescue Squad, Rogersville Police Department and Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene.
Christian-Sells Funeral Home of Rogersville is handling funeral arrangements for Ashley Lawson.