Toddler killed, 9 injured in east Tennessee crash

SWEETWATER (WATE) – A toddler was killed and nine others injured in a fiery crash along Interstate 75 in Monroe County Sunday night.

A family from Alabama was on their way back from a family reunion when their Suburban hit rumble strips, blowing out two tires, sending the SUV across the roadway and into a culvert, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The impact caused the SUV to catch on fire.

Two-year-old Nikayla Oliver was killed while Sherna Reed, 43, Shakita Counts, 37, Willie Antonio Reed, 25, Shakita Coleman, 16, Michael Scales, Jr., 14, Eric Scales, 10, Tevia Denee Blanks,10, Tiana Scales,10 and Jakiyah Williams, 10, were injured.

According to the preliminary investigation, the toddler was not in a restraint device and was seated on Blanks’ lap at the time of the crash.

State troopers also report many of the passengers were not wearing seatbelts. The Interstate was closed for a time, but reopened around 7:15 p.m. EST.

Criminal charges and citations are pending at this time.

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