Preliminary Report Of I-24 Chemical Spill Released

Posted at 3:50 PM, Dec 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 20:25:55-05

Officials with the Tennessee Highway Patrol have released the preliminary cause of the crash that caused a chemical spill and evacuation in Rutherford County.

The tractor trailer truck carrying which was hauling sugar, was traveling west on I-24 when it swerved to avoid a utility trailer laying the road.

However, it didn't see it soon enough and still hit it, causing it to leave the roadway and stop in the tree line along the interstate.

The second tractor trailer, carrying chlorine tablets was traveling the same direction, and also hit the trailer.

 It left the roadway in the opposite direction and hit an embankment then turned on its side.

Coswell Sims, 43 was driving the truck hauling chlorine and 38-year-old Elizbieta Barnowka was driving the second truck hauling sugar.

The chlorine tanker caught fire in the wood line, and the spill forced evacuations of nearby neighborhoods.

Evacuation Order Lifted After I-24 Chemical Spill

Sims suffered minor burns and was taken to St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital, while the other was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Barnowka suffered a back injury, but has since been released from the hospital. A gofundme page has been set up for her to aid in her medical bills and recovery.