Company: Truck in deadly I-40 accident reported as stolen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A rental truck company says a semi-truck that plowed into two TDOT contractors and a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer Wednesday had been reported as stolen to police.

A representative with Penske said their customer had reported the truck involved in the wreck as stolen.

The company did not say where or when the truck was reportedly stolen, and referred all questions to law enforcement.

“We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation. Penske extends its sincere condolences to the loved ones of those victims involved in this tragic accident,” a Penske representative wrote in an email.

Tennessee Highway Patrol said two Tennessee Department of Transportation contractors were killed and a state trooper injured when a tractor-trailer slammed into them on Interstate 40 near Arlington, Tennessee around 4 a.m. Wednesday.

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.

Bill Luttmer of A & A Safety issued the following statement Wednesday:

“In 35 years of business, we have never lost an employee. Today, we must come to terms with the loss of two valued members of our team. Right now, our focus is on the needs of their families during this extremely difficult time. Our thoughts, prayers, and support also go out to those injured in today’s crash.”

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