Wrong-way driver arrested after car catches fire on I-24 West

Spencer Rhodes (Courtesy: La Vergne Police Department)

LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A man accused of driving the wrong way on Interstate 24 from Nashville to Rutherford County was taken into custody Tuesday morning after his car caught fire.

La Vergne Police Chief Mike Walker told News 2 the driver reportedly got on I-24 West in Nashville around 3 a.m., driving east and side-swiping a car at the I-40 split.

Chief Walker said the man, identified as Mt. Juliet resident Spencer Rhodes, was driving only on rims when the car caught fire near the Waldron Road exit in La Vergne.

Tennessee Highway Patrol said the 24-year-old drove the wrong way on I-24 for at least 12 miles.

Rhodes is charged with DUI, felony reckless endangerment and reckless driving. He has been released from custody after posting bond.

An Uber driver who did not want to be identified said he was driving along I-24 when he saw the car heading right for him.

“I seen headlights coming like, what’s going on here?” the driver described. “It’s like you’re in a movie or something. Like this is really happening, I thought the car might’ve hydroplaned or something like that, spun out, but he just kept on driving coming my way, so I just stayed in my lane and hoped for the best,” he said.

Several westbound lanes of I-24 near the scene were closed until about 5 a.m.