Knoxville Police look at response following I-640 crash

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A morning rush-hour crash Monday has Knoxville police re-evaluating it's SmartFIX40 accident response plan.

The wreck on 640westbound is the first major back-up since I-40 through downtown closed for the SmartFIX construction project.

Overall, police say the response went well. With the I-40 shutdown, 640's now the main traffic artery in Knoxville.

So when cars collide, police say a back-up is unavoidable.

Monday morning's crash halted traffic for more than four miles.

The accident happened near the Broadway exit on 640 westbound.

Knoxville police say a vehicle tried to merge on 640.

But the driver behind them was following too closely.

So when that merging vehicle slowed down, that set off a chain reaction of two rear-end collisions.

Police cleared the road in about five minutes, but traffic stood still for nearly forty minutes. That's how long police say it took wreckers to arrive.

Police will meet with TDOT to re-check the crash response plan, but police say it's up to you to prevent crashes like this.

Knoxville Police Spokesman Darrell DeBusk says, "Leave a little earlier, leave greater following distance between you and the person if front of you and pay attention to all the vehicles around you that goes no matter where you're traveling."

Police say this crash wouldn't have slowed traffic as much on I-40.

TDOT estimates downtown shutdown detours as many as 30,000 extra vehicles on 640 daily.

So, more cars will back-up sooner.

Monday there were no injuries, but a fatality or injury accident would've lengthened the delay.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Join the Conversation!

While WVLT allows comments on articles, we ask that you respect the online community. Comments may be removed at any time for violations including:

  • Obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, racism, violent descriptions, name-calling or personal attacks.
  • Abuse of multiple accounts.
  • Off-topic comments.

Comments may be checked for inappropriate content or rule violation, but the station is under no legal obligation to monitor or remove comments. If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator. 
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

  • by Anonymous on May 7, 2008 at 09:13 AM
    If people just took their time driving and followed the rules of the road traffic would not be that bad. The left lane is the passing lane so if you are not passing another vehicle get over! Also leave plenty of space between you and the car ahead of you, this will not only give you plenty of time to brake but also allow other vehicles room to merge. The less aggressive drivers are the the pace of traffic would be more consistant. It dosn't hurt to let someone merge they have as much right to the road as us. The merging people also need to blend with the flow of traffic.
  • by WEIRDOFREAK Location: USA on May 7, 2008 at 08:24 AM
    Most people want to yack it up on the celly... LOL! Get real, you need to get rid of your distractions, so you won't be distracted. Common sense goes a loooong way!
  • by David Location: Knoxville on May 6, 2008 at 01:39 PM
    I drive home from work on 640E. Even though they are not suppose to exit from 40E on to Ashville Hwy, drivers are still doing this. It is very dangerous. I think something more stable than the orange poles will have to be placed there or the police need to monitor it. Please don't wait until someone is hurt or killed.
  • by Golfnfire Location: knoxville on May 5, 2008 at 09:42 PM
    I kept telling everyone that 640 couldn't handle the traffic it had before the 40 shut down let alone once 640 has all of the interstate traffic!!!


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2015 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 18666559 -
Gray Television, Inc.