Car Slams into Fire Truck at Tenn. Highway Scene

SMYRNA, Tenn. --

A man working underneath his car was killed when it fell on him along Interstate 24 near Smyrna on Friday morning.

The incident happened on Interstate 24 at mile marker 67 just past the Smyrna exit when a Murfreesboro man's car broke down.

Authorities said Antonio Idelfonso Juarez, 36, had broken down Thursday night. He returned Friday with his girlfriend to repair the car.

Detective Scott Tillman of the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department said Juarez jacked the vehicle and it rolled back. The vehicle then fell on Juarez, killing him instantly at about 9:25 a.m. Friday. His death was ruled an accident.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said the vehicle is front-wheel drive and the back wheels don't lock.

"He was underneath the vehicle, and the jack fell, causing the vehicle to fall on him," said Lt. Jack Vaughn of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The man's girlfriend was asleep in the car behind him. When she woke up, she noticed the car had fallen on top of him. Authorities said Juarez died instantly. The fast-moving traffic may have caused the car to sway, and authorities said that also may have caused the jack to fall over.

"Anytime you jack up a vehicle, you are suppose to set the parking brake and shock the wheels, if at all possible, before you attempt to change a tire, much less get underneath it," Vaughn said.

While emergency crews were working the accident, an SUV sped down the interstate and crashed into the back of a fire truck.

"He was talking on his cell phone and apparently not paying any attention to the fact that the traffic had slowed down," said Vaugh.

"We were right here, and he came right down here on the side of us and slammed right into that fire truck," said Brian Pattinson, who witnessed the crash. "It's unreal, man."

At the time of the collision, there were at least 15 emergency personnel on the other side of the fire truck.

"If the truck had not been where it was, there is a good chance several other people could have been injured if not killed," said Smyrna Fire Chief Bill Culbertson.

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