One dies in Whitley tractor-trailer collision

A head-on collision between two tractor-trailers in Whitley County left one person dead Monday.

A tractor-trailer hauling granite tombstones was headed north on Interstate 75 when the driver lost control at mile marker 14 at about 10:53 a.m. The truck crossed the median and hit a southbound tractor-trailer carrying a steel coil, causing both vehicles to catch fire, said Officer Greg Reams of the state police's commercial vehicle enforcement unit.

The driver of the tractor-trailer that was carrying tombstones was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the other tractor-trailer, who had to be extricated from the vehicle, was taken by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he was in stable condition as of about 3 p.m., Reams said.

The names of those involved in the crash are being withheld pending notification of their families. Reams said one victim is from Georgia, and the other is from Michigan.

Both southbound lanes of the interstate were closed until about 5:15 p.m., when one lane reopened. The other lane reopened about 20 minutes later, he said.