ARLINGTON, Tenn. — Two Tennessee Department of Transportation contractors were killed and a state trooper injured when a tractor-trailer slammed into them on Interstate 40 around 4 a.m. Wednesday, Tennessee Highway Patrol said.
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, two workers with A & A Safety out of Ohio were replacing reflectors in the middle of the road when they were struck and killed around mile marker 26, near Airline Road.
The trooper was injured when his patrol car was hit. He was taken to the Regional Medical Center for treatment.
A friend of one of the two workers killed identified him as 22-year-old Jared Helton, which was later confirmed by TDOT. TDOT identified the second victim as 30-year-old Justin Stafford.
A third employee was injured in the crash and taken to the hospital. TDOT identified him as Cody Cantrell.
All three A & A victims were from Salyersville, Kentucky.
"We are not sure if the trooper car was pushed into them or it was caused by the truck itself," said Sgt. Chris Richardson.
Tennessee Highway Patrol said there's no question the accident could've been prevented.
One lane of traffic was shut down and the trooper had his lights on when they were all hit.
Multiple law enforcement officers were on the scene and an 18-wheeler off the roadway. The THP confirmed that the tractor trailer was involved in the accident.
TDOT released a statement following the crash saying, "We are extremely saddened by the loss of two contract workers from @AandASafety1 and for the @TNHighwayPatrol officer who was injured in a work zone crash on I-40 outside Memphis this morning. Please Work with Us. Move Over- Slow down."