TDOT worker hit while changing tire on I-40; Man arrested

Dennis Castellanos-Moreno (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)
Dennis Castellanos-Moreno (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An employee of the Tennessee Department of Transportation was hit on Interstate 40 on Christmas Eve, and a man has since been arrested and charged.

Authorities say the crash happened at 7:15 p.m. Saturday in the westbound lanes near the Hermitage exit as James Rogers was changing a tire.

Rogers, who operates a TDOT help truck, was hit by a car and transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He reportedly suffered “serious bodily injury.”

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

According to an affidavit, the other driver was arrested and charged with driving without a license and for not having insurance. He has been identified as Dennis Castellanos-Moreno, who has since bonded out of jail on $5,000.

Moreno is accused of not paying attention to slowing vehicles, causing him to stop his car too quickly, lose control, and hit Rogers.

The victim’s girlfriend, Rachel Cunningham, spoke with News 2 Sunday. She said Rogers is in critical condition but he’s stable.

“So we just have a long road ahead of us,” she explained. “He winked at me, you know. You can see his personality come through, so that’s always nice.”

Cunningham also offered this word of advice to drivers.

“Just pay attention. They’re just out doing their job. Tthey’re trying to help other families, and things like this happen. So if you just pay attention to the road and not everything else going on.”