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21-year-old Rossville man killed in overturned truck accident on Highway 111 Thursday

Image: NewsChannel 9 SkyCam

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVC) - A tractor trailer carrying several tons of coal overturned on Highway 111 near the Hamilton-Sequatchie County line Thursday morning.

Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) have identified the victim as 21-year-old Christopher Aaron Harden of Rossville, Georgia.

This happened at the foot of Flat Top Mountain right before the Back Valley Road exit.

At 4:18 p.m., Flynn announced that all lanes of Highway 111 have been reopened, with the Back Valley Road exit remaining closed. Crews are working to remove coal spilled in the accident.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

"We are hearing that there was a fatality this morning on our paving project on SR-111 in Hamilton County," Flynn said. "It was not a TDOT worker, but it may have been a contract employee."

T-DOT explained the Highway 111 project in an earlier email, saying crews would work during the day except during rush hour, and listed Wright Brothers, LLC as the contractor working on the project.

NewsChannel 9 later confirmed that Christopher Harden did not work for Wright Brothers directly, but was a subcontractor.

THP says the coal truck, driven by Jason Casada of D and D Trucking, lost control while going around a curve. THP says the truck overturned and hit another vehicle as well as Harden, who was standing outside the car.

Casada was taken to the hospital with injuries. Neither of the passengers of the second car were injured.

Full statement from Steve Wright, president of Wright Brothers Construction:

"It is a very difficult time for all involved. Our thoughts and prayers are with all involved especially the family and coworkers of the injured worker. We can confirm the injured worker was not a Wright Brothers employee. We have been asked to forward all media inquiries to Chattanooga TDOT media representatives. Please remind the traveling public how important it is to be ever vigilant when driving, especially in work zones."

Rebecca Wood, founder of Superior Traffic Control and employed Harden, released this statement:

"We don’t want to really make a statement while the investigation is underway other than to say our hearts are extended to our employee’s family and that we are coming together as a group to support each other during this tragic time. We urge all drivers coming through a work zone to pay extra attention, slow their speeds and know that their father, mother, brother, sister, neighbor and friends are working tirelessly to make our Tennessee roads safer for them. They can do their part in helping us by slowing down and being extra careful in the work zone.

I’m not exactly sure of the cause of the accident at this time. It’s just a tragic incident and a sorrowful reminder of how fragile life is."

Investigators believe Casada was going too fast for the curve in the road. Right now, no charges have been filed.

Depend on WTVC to keep you posted.

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