Man killed in East Tennessee mudslide after truck rolls down 200 foot embankment


    UPDATE: (3:15 p.m.)

    A man has died in Hawkins County after part of Tennessee State Route 70 washed away due to heavy rains and his vehicle rolled down a 200 foot embankment.

    According to Tennessee Highway Patrol, the incident occurred around 1:55 a.m. Thursday near Cave Springs Road. A pickup truck driven by 62-year-old Steven Lawson, of Jonesborough, went down the embankment and came to rest on its top.

    Lawson died from injuries sustained in the crash. The investigation remains ongoing.

    UPDATE: 10:45 a.m. (The Associated Press)

    A mudslide in East Tennessee has injured one person and closed a highway.

    Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson told news outlets that the mudslide occurred Thursday morning on State Route 70 and involved two cars. He said one person was transported from the scene by ambulance. Lawson says the road is blocked off to other traffic.

    Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Nagi said the agency has engineers on site working on preliminary evaluations of the mudslide.


    UPDATE 7:15 a.m. - T-DOT Geologist is on scene. Homes have been evacuated within a half mile radius of the slide.

    Hawkins County Rescue Squad Captain, Scott Stewart has been with the rescue squad since 1994 and says it's the most critical mudslide he's seen.

    UPDATE 5:50 a.m. - According to Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson all emergency crews are now on standby until daylight due to the danger from the mudslide.

    They will begin a search for victims at that time.

    It's unknown what damage has been done.

    Mud is still sliding down the mountain.

    The entire area is blocked off.

    The scene is located near Hickory Cove Road.

    UPDATE -- Sherriff Lawson has confirmed at least two vehicles are involved in the mudslides.

    One person has been transported to the local hospital.

    Emergency responders are assisting the scene and rescue attempts.

    Mud is still sliding.

    Stay away from the area.


    Hawkins County, Tenn. -- According to a tweet by Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson, ongoing mudslides have shut down Highway 70 near Cave Springs Road.

    Lawson says it's unknown how many houses and cars are currently effected.

    WCYB has a crew on the way to the scene and will bring you the latest updates as they become available.

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