CARYVILLE, TN (WLAF) – It was a close call for a LaFollette driver and his young passenger yesterday when the two were pulled from the burning wreckage of their truck.
A little after 2:30 pm on Sunday afternoon, a 2006 model Dodge pick-up truck wrecked, flipped on its top and caught fire. First responders pulled John Davis II, 40, of La Follette, along with a 12 year old boy from the wrecked vehicle Sunday afternoon.
According to the preliminary accident report issued by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the wreck occurred when the pick-up veered off the four lane just past the Elkins Road traffic light. The 2006 Dodge Truck was traveling southbound in the right hand lane on Highway 25W when it veered out of the right lane crossing Elkins Road and striking a sign. The truck continued southbound before leaving the road and hitting a tree, which caused it roll over and catch fire.
Bystanders and officers pulled the 12 year-old boy from the burning wreckage.  Fire crews then knocked down the fire to save the driver.
As first responders tried to get to Davis, something on the truck exploded, according to Caryville Police Chief Brian Keeton. There were several “intense moments” as officers tried to pull one another out of the danger.
“I don’t know if it was the gas tank or what, but it was a really close call; they thought he was burning up in there. You could hear him screaming. Several officers kept trying to pull him out, but there wasn’t anything to be done until they got there with the water,” Keeton said.
Davis was trapped inside and firefighters with the Caryville and Jacksboro Fire Departments popped the door to extricate him.
“The hairs on his arms were singed off, but he was alert at least when they put him on the helicopter,” Keeton said.
The entire four lane was shutdown for the better part of 45-minutes.  The med choppers used the eastbound lanes as a landing zone while westbound traffic was routed down Elkins Road.
Multiple agencies responded to the scene.  Fire units from Caryville, Jacksboro and La Follette along with police from Caryville and Jacksboro as well as with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, the La Follette Rescue Squad and the Emergency Management Agency teamed to help the wreck victims.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol is handling the investigation. It is unknown at this time what caused the accident. According to the THP report, the accident remains under investigation and charges could be pending.
According to officials, the boy sustained minor injuries. The injured driver and youngster were both flown by a medical helicopter to a Knoxville hospital.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/20/2020-6AM)