Drunk driver crashes through interstate barricade

Drunk driver crashes through interstate barricade (Image 1)

A Nashville man was charged with DUI after he crashed through a barricade on Interstate 24 where crews were working on an ongoing project.

Police told Nashville's News 2 Investigates the interstate ramps were closed and clearly marked with barrels and signs indicating the 13-week construction project when the incident occurred early Saturday morning.

Authorities said Emmett Harvell weaved around the barriers and traveled in the eastbound lane from the Woodland Street Bridge toward Shelby Street.

“He drove around the police officers who were there, hit a light structure, sent it careening 80 feet. It finally hit a worker's truck sitting there,” explained TDOT spokesperson BJ Doughty. “This is exactly the type of thing that can happen when a man is driving intoxicated. He drove by lots of signs that says this interstate is closed.

Doughty reported the light equipment was destroyed, while a red work truck received damage.

“These guys are focused,” Doughty said. “Many [of the workers] are chest deep in the skeleton of this bridge while they are focused and have the expectation they are safe.”

Nashville's News 2 Investigates took a look at the 39-year-olds record.

According to Metro court records, Harvell was driving on a revoked license at the time of the incident and he has a previous DUI arrest.

It was also discovered Harvell was arrested in 2008 on felony dangerous weapons charges.

Affidavits also indicated he was in a vehicle being chased by police when a handgun and narcotics were tossed out a window.

Harvell spent five hours in the Davidson County jail before he was bonded out on $8,500 dollars for the most recent incident.

No injuries were reported.

TDOT officials said the crash will not delay the project.

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