UPDATE AT 11:10 P.M.
Chattanooga police this evening reported that a man died from injuries he sustained in a major accident on I-24 this morning.
Police stated that this afternoon's accident on I-24 resulted from a Chrysler Concord driven by Ariel Campbell, 21, who was traveling west on I-24. He apparetntly lost control and struck the center concrete barrier.
This caused a chain reaction of crashes, including a Chevy S-10 driven by James Morgan, 61. Morgan reportedly swerved to avoid the other vehicles when his truck slid sideways and rolled over several times. Morgan was ejected from his vehicle and later died from his injuries.
As of this evening, police report that all the others injured in the accident are listed in stable condition.
UPDATE AT 3 P.M.
The Chattanooga Police Department said this afternoon that the I-24 crash involved six automobiles, with four people – one later listed in critical condition – taken to a local hospital.
The investigation is still ongoing and more information will be released when available.
UPDATE AT 2:43 P.M.
I-24 Westbound has been reopened after this morning's accident.
UPDATE AT 1:26 P.M.
I-75 South, north of Chattanooga, is backed up all the way to Highway 153.
UPDATE AT 1:22 P.M.
Multiple emergency vehicles are still on scene. One car is overturned and another is facing the opposite direction. There appears to be some damage to the interstate and surveyors are on scene checking the road for any permanent damage. All lanes are still blocked; all traffic is being forcibly removed at Exit 181 westbound, but even that traffic is not moving.
Earlier reports indicated an entire Interstate’s worth of traffic had streamed into Chattanooga’s east side this morning, as emergency vehicles emptied I-24 westbound onto the city’s side streets.
A multi-car collision blocking the highway, which officials predicted would be cleared by noon, dumped thousands of cars into the Scenic City between Germantown Road and Rossville Boulevard.
Typically quiet neighborhoods were the scene of giant traffic jams, as emergency vehicles blocked the on-ramps onto the Interstate. Stop signs and red lights became optional.
Residents out for a walk turned into a major source of information for out-of-town motorists, who rolled down their windows to hear the directions given to others.
Travelers from all over the Southeast got closer to 23rd Street than they had originally planned, as the corridor turned into a virtual parking lot.
The uptick in traffic turned out to be a boon for nearby shops, which were flooded with customers who took the opportunity to check out the local pawn shop, grab a burger or fill a gas tank. The jam showed no signs of clearing as the clock struck noon.
Check back here for the latest updates.