The Tennessee Highway Patrol has identified Covington resident LeJulian Roy as the trooper involved in Wednesday’s deadly accident near Arlington.
Trooper Roy was parked in a work zone in the westbound lanes of Interstate 40, near exit 26, when a semi plowed into three parked vehicles and two men contracted to work for the department of transportation.
The semi, driven by Mervin Crigler of Garland, Texas, first struck the right rear of a 2012 Freightliner M2, which caused the box truck to leave the right side of the roadway, travel down the embankment and into the tree line.
It then hit Roy’s patrol SUV in the right rear, causing the SUV to hit contractor Justin Stafford before hitting a Ford truck and a guardrail as it left the right side of the road, traveling down the embankment and going to the tree line as well.
The semi hit Jared Helton, a second contractor, as it, too, left the right shoulder and came to its rest between the box truck and the SUV.
Roy called dispatch from his cell phone.
The contractors were working in a mobile work zone within a lane closure, replacing the snow plowable markers along the interstate. The THP said Roy was following behind the men as a safety measure.
Roy and a 22-year-old Cody Fultz, a Tennessee Department of Transportation contractor were injured, as was Crigler.
Helton, 22, and Stafford, 30, were both killed. They both lived in Kentucky and all three contractors were employed with Ohio-based A&A Safety.
Tennessee’s Move Over Law requires drivers to change lanes and slow down to avoid accidents when emergency vehicles and utility crews are present. The penalty is up to 30 days in jail and a maximum $500 fine.
Last year, there were 656 crashes in work zones. Thirteen people died and 183 were injured.
Roy, 34, remains hospitalized at the Regional One Medical Center in Memphis. He suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs.
He has been with the THP since 2018 and was previously a Tipton County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
The wreck remains under investigation.