HUNTSVILLE — Two drivers were injured, and two more people escaped injury, in a serious, three-vehicle accident on S.R. 63 east of here Thursday afternoon.
The accident occurred around 4:15 p.m. near Scenic Foods, resulting in a stretch of S.R. 63 being closed for an extended period of time as the scene was investigated by the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the wreckage removed.
According to a preliminary report filed by Trooper Stephen Barclay of THP, the accident occurred when a 1994 Nissan XES pickup collided with a 1999 Western Star truck tractor.
According to the report, the Nissan, driven by Ryan D. Hardy, 41, of Huntsville, was traveling west on S.R. 63 when it crossed the center line and struck the east-bound truck, driven by Terry Massengale, 71, of Huntsville, in a near head-on collision.
Hardy’s vehicle spun around and came to rest in the west-bound lane of the highway, while Massengale’s truck veered off the roadway and into an embankment, with the load separating from the vehicle.
Meanwhile, a third vehicle — an ambulance driven by Johnny Russ, 54, of Helenwood — was caught up in the accident, as well. Barclay’s report indicated that the ambulance struck debris in the roadway, and was clipped by Hardy’s vehicle as it spun in the highway. Russ was able to bring the ambulance to a stop off the highway.
Hardy was trapped inside his vehicle and had to be extricated by the Scott County Rescue Squad, after which he was airlifted by Lifestar to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. The extent of his injuries were unknown.
Massengale was also injured in the crash.
Russ was not injured in the accident, nor was a 55-year-old passenger in the ambulance.
The report states that charges are pending.
Barclay noted in the report that the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, East 63 Volunteer Fire Department, Huntsville Fire Department and Scott County EMA Director Wendy Walker all assisted in the accident, and offered special thanks to them for their assistance.
Lt. Eric Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol noted that it was a “very serious crash with extensive damage to each vehicle,” but pointed out that each person involved in the accident was wearing their safety belts.