Hit-and-Run Driver Sets off Chain Reaction of Fiery Crashes on I-65 in Madison
According to a report by The Tennessean, police are on the hunt for a driver accused of setting off a chain reaction of several crashes Thursday evening that injured two people, left a tractor trailer on fire, and temporarily shut down Interstate 65 in Madison.
Nashville police say that the driver of a red car rear-ended another vehicle at 6:30 p.m. in the northbound lanes of I-65 close to the exit to Old Hickory Boulevard. That crash caused two additional accidents involving a semi-truck and another vehicle. Nashville Metro Police Captain David Imhof says that driver of the red car then fled the scene of the accident.
To make matters worse, the semi-truck was hauling carpet which caught on fire during the accident and caused I-65 to shut down for several hours. The driver of the semi-truck and another person involved in the accident both suffered minor injuries.
Emergency crews worked throughout the night to put out the flames and clear the wreckage before they were able to reopen both the northbound and southbound lanes of I-65 early Friday.
What Should You Do If You’re Involved in an Accident?
If you’re ever involved in an accident on the interstate or highway, it’s important that you follow a few tips to protect yourself and your rights to compensation for any accident-related expenses. At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident lawyers prepared a few tips to help you and your family during this time:
- Stay at the scene of the accident.
Whether you think you were partially responsible for causing the accident or if you know you weren’t at fault, it’s vital that you never leave the scene of the accident. Not only does leaving the scene of an accident jeopardize your chances of getting compensation, it’s also illegal. Stay with your vehicle at the accident scene until police arrive and file an accident report.
- Move your vehicles to the shoulder unless someone is seriously injured.
After an accident, your first instinct may be to leave your vehicle right where the accident occurred—even if it’s in the middle of the highway or a busy street. However, unless someone was seriously injured in the accident, you and the other driver should move your vehicles to the side of the road to prevent traffic from backing up, prevent other drivers from striking your car, and allow emergency vehicles to safely arrive at the scene of the accident. Tennessee state law protects drivers who move their vehicles from being considered at fault for causing accidents.
- Never admit fault for the accident.
You may feel like you were at fault for causing the accident, even if you had nothing to do with the chain of events that led to the collision. There’s a good chance your attorney may be able to prove that you weren’t responsible for causing the accident, but if you tell the other driver or police that you think you’re fully or partially at fault, the insurance company can use that statement to deny you any compensation for your expenses.
- Call 911, your insurance company, and a lawyer.
In the moments after an accident, you should make three phone calls: one to 911, one to your insurance company, and one to an experienced Nashville car accident lawyer. Calling 911 will dispatch a police car and ambulance to file a report and treat injuries. Calling your insurance provider allows you to make a report of the accident, which is required for most policies. And calling an attorney will ensure your rights are protected as soon as possible.