Three vehicles were involved in a firey crash on Chapman Highway in Seymour at the Blount County – Knox County line near Sevierville Pike. The crash occurred Wednesday evening around 6:50 p.m.
The Knox County Sheriff's Department set up a media station at Valley Grove Church to alert the media of information since Chapman Hwy. was completely shut down for several hours in both directions for several blocks.
The three vehicles included a Culligan water truck, a Jeep and a Ford Crown Victoria. Two of the three vehicles burst into flames following the crash.
The sheriff's office reported that an off duty deputy who lives in Seymour witnessed the accident while driving home. He broke the window out of a vehicle and used the water from the water truck to try to put out the flames. Another bystander also tried to help.
The jeep, driven by 26 year old Jessica Monroe of Morristown was killed. Two of the three occupants in the Crown Victoria were also killed. Both the driver and passenger of the Crown Victoria, 48-year-old Robert Murphy and his wife, Lori 47, were killed. Their 4-year-old son Nicholas was rescued from the wreckage and was transported to UT Hospital.
The Murphys lived in the Cherokee Hills sub-division in Seymour.
A number of people on the scene along with an off-duty Knox County Sheriff's detective attempted to free a man from burning to death.
Witnesses at the scene told The Herald that the deputy was injured trying to save the victims.
Those at the scene stated a 63 year old man was airlifted from the scene in a LifeStar helicopter. A four year old boy who was in Crown Victoria that caught on fire was taken to the hospital in a Rural/Metro ambulance.
The passenger in the jeep, 22-year-old Helena Jimenez, was also transported to UT.
Both patients received serious injuries but there is no word on the extent of their injuries.
The driver of a Culligan water truck received lacerations to his face, but refused medical care.
It was unclear what caused the accident. According to authorities they are looking for a white Ford F-150 pickup truck that might have been involved in the crash and then left the scene.
Anyone with information about the truck can make an anonymous tip by calling 865-215-2243, she said.