Police ID victim in fatal I-40 crash

Monday, January 4, 2010 at 5:57pm
Staff reports

Metro Police have identified the victim in a fatal crash Monday morning near the Interstate40/Interstate 24 westbound interchange near downtown Nashville.

Robert J. Ridley, 45, of Jasper, Tenn., crashed into two vehicles before striking a concrete overpass wall, police said. He was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he died.

Ridley was driving a 2008 Ford F-150 westbound on the I-24 ramp to I-40 West when he struck a 2007 Pontiac G6 from behind at 9:30 a.m.

The driver of the Pontiac, Whitney Hawkins, 23, of Nashville, told police Ridley sped off after the collision. Moments later, he crashed into the back of a Buick LeSabre traveling westbound on I-40.

Ridley lost control of his pickup and struck an overpass wall. The Buick spun clockwise across two lanes of traffic before coming to a stop.

The driver of the Buick, Juanita Bills, 74, of Murfreesboro, and her passenger, Marion Gilmore, 78, of Smyrna, were both transported to Baptist Hospital with minor injuries, police said. They were wearing their seatbelts.

Ridley’s reckless driving, for reasons unknown at this time, appears to be the contributing factor to this fatal crash, police said.


3 Comments on this post:

By: fightcrib on 1/5/10 at 11:52

In Tennessee and in Commodore country, you booze it, you lose it. Lose your license, your job, your life, or yo season.

In the case of this man, he lost his life. In the case of Tennessee Basketball, they lost they season.

By: dustypup on 1/6/10 at 8:19

Before you automatically assume Robert Ridley was drunk and post the above comment about booze it/lose it, you should know more about the accident. Robert was a personal friend of my son and co-worker. He suffered a heart attack while driving and most likely was Dead by the time he hit the first vehicle. He had just left the workplace and I assure you, he was cold stone sober. It is very POSSIBLE he removed his seat belt when the first pain hit him in his heart, that would be very likely why he didn't have it on. Robert and all wore seatbelts constantly, not that the seat belt would have made alot of difference in the outcome of this particular accident. Please Respect his family during this time as this man could not help this accident and never would have been driving Recklessly.

By: dcmoza on 1/6/10 at 12:41

I was traveling through Nashville @ 9:30 AM on Monday 01/04/2009 and was several car lengths behind this incident. I am an ex-firefighter and although I did not see the entire incident I did stop and assist with a rescue attempt as I broke open the passenger window to help remove the Mr. Ridley from the truck. I then extinguished the fire. There were several other people that helped with the removal of Mr. Ridley and alcohol did not appear to be present in the vehicle, on the victim or on his breath. Mr. Ridley did not have a his seat belt on during the rescue attempt as I was the first to approach his truck and he was unconcious on the passenger side of the vehicle.
Condolences to the family and please know that Mr. Ridley did not die alone as many of us made attempts to save his life as well as pray for this gentleman in his time of need.

God Bless the Ridley family and friends, I am truly sorry for your loss.