KNOXVILLE, Tenn.–The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating how the deceased body of a car crash victim was missed until a tow truck driver noticed the body after transporting the minivan to the company yard.
Lt. Bill Miller with THP says on Tuesday, the agency received a call from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office of a hit-and-run crash. A trooper responded to the scene located off Old French Road and found a 2002 Dodge Caravan crashed into an embankment which was believed to be empty with the airbags deployed. The trooper called Floyd’s Wrecker Service, the next scheduled wrecker service in rotation. The driver towed the van back to the company’s lot, where the driver discovered a body laying in the passenger side floorboard of the van.
The body was identified as a 40-year-old male from Seymour, Tennessee. Lt. Miller says THP is working to determine why the investigators on scene did not notice the body and if there were any other people in the van prior to the crash. Preliminary indications are the driver failed to stop at a posted stop sign at the intersection of Old French Road and Highway 168 before crashing into the embankment.
Lt. Miller says the agency is conducting a thorough investigation of all the events and the investigating trooper along with others from the department have met with the deceased man’s widow. Lt. Miller says the department feels “terrible about this” and the department will take information gained from the investigation and utilize that information to make sure it does not happen again.