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08-18-20 I40 East Crash Update

Posted 08-19-20.

The following information pertains to the crash that occurred on I40 East yesterday morning, 08-18-20. Please see 08-18-20 release below for additional information.

According to SPD Sgt. Shawn Crawford, the preliminary crash investigation indicates that a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado was traveling east at a high rate of speed when it hit a travel trailer being towed by a 2008 Ford F250. The Silverado then hit a 2005 Subaru Impreza and then contacted the guardrail on the right shoulder of the bridge over Hwy. 139 before hitting the end of the concrete bridge abutment, flipping over and coming to rest on the left side.


The driver of the Silverado, 33-year old Derick Culberson of Newport, TN was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. The two rear seat passengers in the Silverado, 26-year old Kiana Davis and 5-year old Riley Davis-Culberson, both of Newport, TN were transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center with what appeared at the scene to be non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the Impreza, 60-year old Johnny Jessie of Powel, TN was transported to UTMC with what appeared at the scene to be non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the F250, 30-year old Joshua Sanders, was uninjured.

The investigation is ongoing.


Numerous emergency agencies responded to a multiple vehicle crash at approximately 7:15 a.m. this morning, Tuesday, August 18, 2020. The crash occurred on Interstate 40 East near mile marker 406.

Three vehicles were involved. A pick-up truck pulling a travel trailer sustained minor damage and no one in that vehicle was injured. A small passenger car was severely damaged; one person from that vehicle was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center by ground ambulance. A full-size pick-up truck sustained severe damage; an adult male in the vehicle died apparently as a result of the crash, and an adult female and a child were transported to UTMC by ground ambulance.

The severity of the injuries to the three persons transported to UTMC is not known. Two of the three eastbound lanes were closed at the crash site until about 11:00 a.m.

The crash is under investigation. The names of those injured and the person who died will be released after appropriate notifications are completed.

Contact Us

Bob Stahlke, Public Information Officer

300 Gary Wade Blvd.
Sevierville, TN 37864-5500
Phone: 865.453.5506