Jefferson wreck echoes Tennessee's most deadly bus accident
It happened Wednesday and it happened in the worst bus crash in Tennessee history — a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer.
On May 13, 1972, a double-decker Greyhound bus slammed into a tractor-trailer just before dawn on U.S. Highway 11 West near Bean Station.
That wreck killed 14 people, including the drivers of the bus and semi, and three children.
The Greyhound, headed from Memphis to Roanoke, Va., had passed a car and crossed the center line directly into the path of a tractor-trailer carrying vinyl flooring and glue for Malone Freight Lines of Birmingham, Ala.
The road itself was given a share of the blame, having been labeled among the most dangerous in Tennessee even before the wreck.
“The record of Highway 11W is written in tragedy and demands the action of responsible people, including the governor,” said Gov. Winfield Dunn at the time. “This I intend to do.”
Author Allen Coggins in his book “Tennessee Tragedies: Natural, Technological, and Societal Disasters in the .Volunteer State,” reached Wednesday, said he considers the 11W wreck the state’s second worst road tragedy.