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KPD: Near-miss video shows importance of slowing down on icy roads

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Posted at 9:36 AM, Feb 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-20 19:39:03-05

KNOXVILLE — A Knoxville Police Department video taken Tuesday morning when a tractor-trailer jackknifed shows a road worker just barely dodging a pickup truck whose driver lost control on a patch of ice.

The 18-second video was taken about 9:15 a.m. on Interstate 40 near the Midway Road exit, KPD spokesman Darrell DeBusk said.

DeBusk said the driver wasn’t charged because he didn’t hit anyone and didn’t damage his vehicle, but the close call highlighted the need to slow down and be cautious.

“It was weather-related,” DeBusk said. “The driver hit black ice and once he hit it, he was pretty much just along for the ride.

“Fortunately, the TDOT (Tennessee Department of Transportation) worker jumped back in the nick of time. It’s pretty incredible.”

The spokesman said the video shows the danger of black ice, patches of ice that are not clear to the naked eye.

“This shows the importance of slowing down when having difficult weather conditions and it is also a good example of why you should move over and change lanes when approaching a scene where first responders are assisting motorists,” he said.

DeBusk said that about 9 a.m. Wednesday there weren’t many significant crashes, but there were several reports of vehicles sliding off the roads.

“This snow we’ve just received, what it is really doing is covering up where the ice is on the road so you can’t drive and spot the ice and prepare for it,” he said. “You don’t know when you’re going to hit a patch of ice.”