Snow-covered roads slow down drivers heading east

Snow-covered roads slow down drivers heading east (Image 1)
Snow-covered roads slow down drivers heading east (Image 1)

The forecasted snow that missed Middle Tennessee hit east Tennessee hard Wednesday.

Knoxville and Chattanooga saw as much as nine inches of snow.

Drivers headed toward Knoxville on Interstate 40 were stopped in their tracks overnight after a collision shutdown the interstate between mile markers 321 and 340.

On Thursday morning, a thick blanket of white covered the beds of several semi-trucks that were forced to park at the Pilot Travel Center off exit 320.

“It kind of like sprinkled for awhile, and last night it began to stick, about 4:00,” Jerry Graham said of Wednesday's snowfall.

Graham, a Crossville resident, was one of the few motorists venturing out before the sun came up, determined to go farther east.

“I'm going into east Tennessee, about 65 miles,” he said. “I've got 4-wheel drive so I'm in pretty good shape. I'm used to driving in the snow.”

Tennessee Department of Transportation crews heavily plowed the interstate and main highways, including TN-298 in front of the travel center, but not before Sandra Daugherty lost traction.

“I was going 298, past the Pilot, toward Lancing, Tennessee, and I slipped down a hill on the road backwards,” she said.

Daugherty was on her way home from work around 9 p.m. Wednesday. Minutes after leaving her company parking lot, she began to slide.

“I just couldn't get up the hill. So I kept trying and I got sideways,” she said. “When I started backing up is when I really got sideways, [and almost] went in the ditch.”

Daugherty turned back toward the travel center, parked her SUV, and slept in the parking lot overnight.

Before hitting the road again Thursday morning, she told Nashville's News 2, “I'm probably going to take the interstate. And if [the city of] Harriman doesn't look no better (sic), I've got friends I can stay with there.”

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