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Two killed as pickups collide on Interstate 81

Staff report • Jun 29, 2019 at 3:23 PM

KINGSPORT — Two men are dead as the result of a head-on collision that occurred on Interstate 81 Saturday afternoon. 

According to a news release from the Kingsport Police Department, just before 2 p.m. patrol officers were dispatched to a crash involving three vehicles on southbound Interstate 81 near mile marker 62. Due to the seriousness of the incident, the KPD Traffic Unit, with assistance from the Sullivan County FIRST (Fatal Incident Response and Support Team) unit conducted an investigation. Their findings thus far are as follows:

A silver 2008 Honda Ridgeline pickup, driven and solely occupied by William Henry Carpenter Jr., 56, Bristol, Va., was northbound on I-81 when for unknown reasons it veered left, crossed the grass median, and began traveling north in the southbound lanes.

Meanwhile, a green 1995 Ford F-150 pickup, driven and solely occupied by Jeffrey L. Goode, 50, Limestone, Tenn., was southbound when it was struck head-on by the Honda. As a result of the crash, the Ford caught fire and became fully engulfed. The blaze was extinguished by the Kingsport Fire Department.

A third vehicle, a black 2009 Ford F-250 pickup, driven and solely occupied by Blake E. Lucas, 18, Bristol, Tenn., was traveling southbound behind Goode’s Ford F-150, and with no time to react, was involved in a secondary collision with the Honda immediately following the initial impact, the release said.

Both Carpenter and Goode were killed in the crash. Lucas was not injured. All three vehicles were completely disabled and had to be towed from the scene. Interstate 81 was completely closed for an extended period of time to allow for the thorough investigation of the crash and the safe removal of all involved vehicles and associated debris. 

The Kingsport Police Department would like to thank the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for their assistance with this investigation and management of any subsequent traffic congestion, the release said.

This remains an open and active investigation by the KPD Traffic Unit. No additional details will be released at this time, the release noted.


Previous story:

KINGSPORT — Police report that a serious, multi-vehicle collision has closed southbound lanes of Interstate 81 in Kingsport on Saturday afternoon.

It occurred at mile marker 63. As of 3 p.m., Kingsport police were urging motorists to avoid the area and seek alternate routes.

Check back with Timesnews.net for additional information as it is released.