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Identities Released Of 3 Killed In I-65 Crash

Posted at 6:37 AM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 20:14:47-05

Three people were killed in an early morning crash along Interstate 65 in Sumner County.   

According to The Tennessee Highway Patrol the incident happened around 6:10 a.m. Tuesday at mile marker 102, just north of Millersville.

Troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said three people died in the wreck: Mary Dawson, 45 from Kentucky, Gerald Swank, 68 from Old Hickory and Michael Walz 36 from Old Hickory.

Lt. Bill Miller with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said a Nissan Altima driven by Dawson was traveling southbound when it crossed the median into oncoming traffic "we don't know what caused the vehicle to come into the median we don't know if it was speed or vehicle mecanical failure, we honestly don't know" said Lt. Miller. 

Dawson's vehicle struck a black Buick sedan driven by Gerald Swank head-on, Swank's car came to rest at a guard rail. 

A semi -- unable to avoid the wreck -- also struck her vehicle, causing it to rip in half. THP said Dawson was ejected and came to rest on the fast lane of 65 North.  

"This is one of the worst crashes I've seen in my 20 years," said Lt Miller. 

Miller also said due to the severity of the crash, seat belts would not have made a difference "seatbelts obviously could not save the drivers in this situation" said Lt. Miller. 

Millersville Chief of Police David Hindman said the area where the accident happened was prone to speeders.

"We catch cars constantly in the 90 miles an hour range, 85, 87, 88 mile an hour range. That's why we're there. A lot of individuals wonder why we work the interstate," said Chief Hindman. "Millersville has 5 miles of interstate from the 105 to the 100 and we maintain our presence there just to help avoid the consequences of what happened this morning."

His department will be asking the Tennessee Department of Transportation to add additional signage and a speedometer to help prevent future accidents.

"I'm gonna try to ask for a speed, radar to put up in there what's your speed coming down the hill, I think that would be beneficial," said Chief Hindman. 

To read the full preliminary crash report click here.