1 dead in foggy highway pileup near Nashville

December 1, 2011 - 1:35 PM

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A small sedan plowed into the back of a U.S. Mail truck, killing the driver in just one of several collisions in a chain-reaction crash on a fogbound highway near Nashville on Thursday

It appeared the car struck stopped traffic during the morning commute, said Ray McLaughlin, a district chief with the Hendersonville Fire Department.

As the fog lifted, damaged vehicles could be seen along a couple of miles of Vietnam Veterans Parkway in Hendersonville.

"I would compare it to a racetrack when there's been a pileup," McLaughlin said. "Everyone started bouncing off one another."

The chief said emergency workers counted 179 vehicles stopped at the crash scene, 50 of which had collided.

The dead man was Paul Warren, 28, of Hendersonville, according to Shawna Zodi, a spokeswoman for the Hendersonville Medical Center,

Zodi said nine people were brought to the medical center's emergency room. Zodi confirmed there was one death among those patients, but there were no immediate details about the victim. The other eight were released after treatment for minor injuries, she said.

Other than the one death, most of the injuries were neck and back complaints, McLaughlin said.

All eastbound lanes of the parkway were closed.

Tom Johnstone, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Nashville, said the temperature in the region dropped to 25 degrees around the time of the crash occurred. There were reports to the weather service of freezing fog and the fire chief said a raised section of the highway where the crash occurred had become slick.