Mudslide Sends Pickup Truck Down 200-Foot Embankment, Kills Driver and Sends Another Person to Hospital

sign for road closureAt 2:45 a.m. yesterday morning there was a mudslide on a section of State Route 70 in Hawkins County that caused the road to collapse down the side of a mountain. The mudslide sent a Chevy pickup truck and a GMC Envoy crashing down the side of a 200-foot embankment before coming to a stop.

The driver of the pickup truck, a 62-year-old man who was traveling southbound, was killed in the crash. The driver of the GMC Envoy was rescued from his car and taken to Holston Valley Medical Center and is in stable condition.

Everyone who lives within a quarter mile of the mudslide was evacuated as a precautionary measure, according to Captain Scott Stewart of Hawkins County Rescue Squad. He says the mountain is still shifting a lot.

The section of State Route 70 was also blocked off to other traffic and will remain blocked for an extended period of time due to the severity of the damage.

According to Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) spokesman Mark Nagi, engineers are on site to evaluate the situation.

Hawkins County Rescue Squad (HCRS) treated the area as an active rescue and spent yesterday morning searching for survivors. They had to wait until daylight came to begin searching the area. They were assisted by 18 firefighters from Kingsport Fire Department.

HCRS says this kind of landslide is very uncommon for the area and one of the most serious incidents they have every responded to. However, this latest mudslide is only one mile south of a rockslide that closed State Route 70 for weeks last year and the year before.

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