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Investigation Continues Into Fatal Jasper Wreck

Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at 2:27 pm

LACIE SILVA – Editor

A tractor trailer hauling corn crossed the two-lane road, Highway 150 right next to mile marker 2, and overturned an oncoming vehicle, on the afternoon of July 26 before plowing through two driveways, clipping a neighboring home and crashing into another. In the overturned car the crash proved fatal for its passenger.

Neighbor Brian Nunley said, “We just came around the house and I heard a boom.” Another neighbor Brian Keith said, “We heard the boom. And I looked up seeing the 18 Wheeler crossing my yard.” The echoing loud boom was the trailer crashing into their neighbor’s home.

Although community members state that trucks frequently travel down this stretch of road too quickly, Keith stated nothing quite as significant as this had happened before. Neighbors hope for future changes to make their homes and roads safer. As Keith stated, “Somebody needs to do something so this don’t ever happen again.”

Neighbors called 911 and attempted to comfort the occupants of the overturned car. The 56-year-old male, Kevin Freeman, was pronounced dead at the scene while the driver, 49-year-old female, Brenda Freeman was airlifted to a nearby hospital.

The driver of the trailer, 27-year-old Skyler Harrell, after exiting the backdoor of the home stated to witnesses at the time that his brakes had malfunctioned. Harrell was treated for minor injuries and was later released from the hospital.

Lieutenant Scott Evans is the lead on the case and has made his preliminary report available but stressed that the investigation is still pending.

Although LT. Evan’s reports state that neither drug nor alcohol use is suspected as a contributing factor, Harrell’s drug and alcohol blood tests have been administered and are reportedly still pending. As LT. Evan’s previously stated, “At this time everything is still preliminary,” and as such their investigation is ongoing.

Moving forward, Tennessee Highway Patrol has been requested to examine the commercial vehicle and they will be in charge of the Post-Crash Inspection. They will be in charge of determining the specifics of the incident and cause of the crash.