Also, the Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating two crashes which occurred between Exits 33 and 36 Tuesday afternoon. One of those crashes was a secondary event.
The driver of an older model Jeep Cherokee suffered critical injuries in today’s crash. The drivers of a van and a passenger car were not believed to be as seriously injured, according to Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit Sgt. Andy Smith.
Stan Clark of Bradley County Emergency Medical Service reported the female driver of the passenger car was taken to an Athens hospital, while the male driver of the van was transported to SkyRidge Medical Center. Both were in stable condition.
Bradley County Fire-Rescue first responders performed extrication procedures at all three vehicles involved in the crash, which occurred just south of Willie’s Restaurant in Charleston.
Tuesday afternoon, a Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Interdiction detective performed a traffic stop on I-75 near Paul Huff Parkway. He exited his patrol vehicle and approached the driver who reportedly waited until he reached the car, according to reports.
“The driver of the car then fled [in his vehicle]” said Bob Gault, media relations coordinator with BCSO.
Gault said the driver had been stopped for an alleged violation of registration.
The vehicle proceeded north on I-75, then exited in Charleston, traveled toward Walker Valley High School on Lauderdale Memorial Highway, then did a U-turn and headed back toward the interstate.
“He then got back on the interstate northbound,” Gault said.
The car crashed near mile marker 36.
Gault noted the car went down an embankment and rolled onto its top.
Traffic along the interstate was snarled as an investigation was conducted into the crash and why the driver attempted to evade law enforcement.
“At this time, the investigation is continuing,” Gault said today.
THP trooper Ricky Ray identified the driver as Julian Taylor, 23.
Taylor’s listed address is Chicago. He was taken to a local hospital for a checkup, according to officials.
While investigators with THP and BCSO were on the scene, a secondary crash occurred just past the Charleston exit.
The driver of the car, Chardai McGown, 57, of Knoxville was reportedly trapped and BCFR first responders worked to free her while Bradley County Emergency Medical Service paramedics aided two other passengers in another vehicle, according to Clark.
Clark said McGown was removed from her car and flown via AirEvac medical helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center.
She had suffered critical injuries, according to Clark.
THP trooper Jacob Potter has charged McGown with DUI, simple possession of marijuana, possession of Xanex, reckless driving, due care violation, texting while driving and insurance and registration violations.
According to Potter’s investigation, he learned McGown was “weaving in and out of traffic,” when she hit a Chevrolet van in the rear, spinning her vehicle out of control and off the roadway.