Two truckers killed in truck stop parking lot in separate incidents

| Thursday, January 20, 2011

Two truckers were recently killed in separate incidents at a Tennessee truck stop during a four-day span.

Both incidents reportedly happened at the Pilot Travel Center at exit 4 on Interstate 81 near White Pine, TN.

According to White Pine Police Chief Charles Epps, truckers Charles Cline, 56, and Blanca Olmos, 47, were struck and killed by vehicles in the truck stop parking lot.

Cline, of Athens, TN, was walking from the parking lot into the truck stop store at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 12 when he was hit by truck driver Daniel Taylor. Taylor, according to WBIR-TV, said he didn?t realize he?d hit Cline until later. Rain and snow fell in White Pine that night.

Epps told Land Line Now that Taylor was driving at a slow speed.

Taylor was screened for substances and had not been charged as of Thursday.

On Jan. 16, Olmos walked from the parking lot to the store and was hit by an unknown vehicle between 6:15 and 6:45 a.m. as it backed up from diesel pumps.

Olmos, of Brownsville, TX, was discovered by a trucker pulling in for fuel, the website reported. She drove for FFE Transportation, Dallas, TX. Police told WBIR that the driver who hit Olmos may not have known it.

?What we can figure out is the truck was backing up and didn?t realize he hit her and drug her out into the parking lot and ran her over,? Epps said. ?He probably didn?t even feel anything, and then went about his way.?

Epps told Land Line Now that the two fatalities seem to be a fluke more than a safety problem with the truck stop and fuel pumps.

?It has to be a coincidence. Talking with their risk management people across the country they have never had anything like this ever happen at one of their truck stops before.?

Anyone that may have information on Olmos? death is asked to call White Pine Police at 865-674-7771.

?We don?t foresee charges,? Epps said. ?It?s just a tragic accident on both accounts.?

Copyright © 2011 OOIDA

Staff writer Reed Black contributed to this report.