The victims were identified by the Tennessee Highway Patrol as Brandon Wilson, 28, of Lawrensburg, Ind., and Deja Morris, 25, West Harrison, Ind. The two were traveling to Bonnaroo, according to a witness in the traveling party.
UPDATE: As of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, three lanes of Interstate 24 East are opened at this time. Only the exit ramp to 81A is shut down, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
The at-fault truck driver, had a previous misdemeanor citation out of Alabama on driving history, has been cited for failure to exercise due care. Additional charges are pending but no one has been at this time.
According to investigators, some, not all, of the vehicles involved in this morning’s crash were en route to Bonnaroo. The two occupants who were killed were traveling to Bonnaroo, according to a witness in the traveling party.
Investigators are attempting to notify next of kin on the deceased individuals, and compile all of the driver and passenger information on the other vehicles involved. No names will be released until authorities have informed family members about the incident.
Two people are dead after a fiery 10-vehicle crash closes Interstate 24 around midnight Thursday near the Church Street exit, according to a press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety.
In all 10 vehicles were involved in the crash, including two tractor trailers, seven passenger vehicles and "one non-contact," according to the Department of Safety.
Around 12:15 a.m., traffic was backed up because of a previous wreck involving another tractor trailer near the Buchanan Road exit, which occured around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Crash investigation and post-crash cleanup had closed all eastbound lanes.
An approaching tractor trailer was unable to stop in time and struck multiple vehicles, who were caught in the congestion.
"Two vehicles became trapped under the two tractor trailers. Two passengers were extricated from one vehicle and the driver of another was also extricated," said Ashley McDonald, public information officer of Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department. "One vehicle was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived on scene."
Sheriff Robert Arnold said a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper and a sheriff's deputy used fire extinguishers on a second car on fire, saving two people.
Three people were flown by LifeFlight from the scene to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, two people were taken to Vanderbilt by ambulance and other motorists were taken to Middle Tennessee Medical Center.
The travelers were believed en route to Bonnaroo, according to a press release from the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office.
I-24's eastbound lanes are shut down between the 80 and 81 milemarker. Traffic is being rerouted off of I-24 East at the South Church Street exit.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is the lead agency in the crash investigation.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation, along with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, Murfreesboro Police Department, Rutherford County Emergency Management Agency, Murfreesboro Fire Department are assisting.
The investigation is ongoing. The Tennessee Highway Patrol will release a crash report once the preliminary investigation is complete.