A passenger in a tractor-trailer that was involved in a series of crashes along Interstate 40 near Canada Road Wednesday morning died from a heart attack he suffered on the way to the hospital.
The accidents which also involved several first responders closed lanes and backed up traffic for hours Wednesday morning.
According to the Shelby County Fire Department, one tractor-trailer hit another tractor-trailer from behind around 2:45 a.m. The driver of the tractor-trailer that hit the other one told investigators that “He must have blacked out and he did not remember anything other than waking up in the cab of (tractor-trailer) while being in the median.”
Two people in the first tractor-trailer and that driver of the second were taken to Regional One. Investigators say 58-year-old Antonino Mendez-Gonzalez of Laredo, Texas, suffered a heart attack in the ambulance and died at the hospital.
While responding to the crash, officials say Shelby County ambulance crashed into Tennessee Highway Patrol cruiser and a Shelby County Sheriff’s Office SUV. The trooper and deputy were out of the cars and investigating the crash when the ambulance hit the trooper’s car then the deputy’s SUV. The two emergency responders in the ambulance were taken to Regional One.
We are told charges are pending against the driver of the tractor-trailer that caused the first crash, and against the emergency responder who was driving the ambulance that hit the cruiser and SUV.