Local doctor killed in I-75 crash
By: David Klein, News Herald
Source: The Monroe County Advocate

By: David Klein, News Herald
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
A chiropractor who practiced in Sweetwater was killed in a fiery crash on Interstate 75 in Loudon County Thursday afternoon.

A Toyota FJC Cruiser caught fire after crashing into a Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) grader, killing 38-year-old Dr. Daniel R. Koelsch of Knoxville, officials reported.

The wreck occurred about 12:30 p.m. on Interstate 75 North just north of Exit 68 between Philadelphia and Loudon.

Authorities from the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), Loudon County Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Loudon County Sheriff’s Office and Loudon County Fire and Rescue Squad all responded to the accident.

According to a witness statement by Russell Chapman, 37, of Knoxville, Koelsch got onto the interstate at Exit 68 and was driving about 70 miles per hour when his vehicle drifted to the left. Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider said the vehicle kept drifting, never merged onto the highway lane and “rode the median a ways.”

Trooper Eric Miller said Koelsch collided with a parked grader on the left shoulder of the highway and his vehicle came to rest in between the grader and another TDOT truck. The collision with the grader sparked a fire to Koelsch’s vehicle, authorities said.

According to Miller, Chapman said Koelsch attempted to get out of his burning vehicle. The trooper said Chapman tried to get Koelsch out but the door was jammed and wouldn’t open.

Koelsch died inside his vehicle, Miller said, noting no one else was injured in the accident. TDOT employees were out to lunch at the time, Miller added.

TDOT employees were clearing off the shoulder of Interstate 75 North, according to Boyd Brown of TDOT. “We saw smoke before we got back (from lunch),” Brown said of the accident.