Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

January 19, 2011

I-40 fatality appears to be suicide

CROSSVILLE — The death of a Louisiana man struck by a tractor-trailer rig Sunday night is being treated this time as a traffic fatality but sources have told the Chronicle that the incident was a suicide.

The dead man was identified as Nadav Aviv, 32, of New Orleans.

Driver of the 2008 Freightliner that struck Aviv was identified as Rebekah Lynn Burgess, 31, of Anderson, SC. Neither Burgess nor her passenger, Derrick Lamar Evett, 39, of Easley, SC, were injured in the incident.

It happened around 11:13 p.m. in the east lane of I-40 near the 315 milemarker, according to Trooper Jason Winningham's report.

Burgess, driving a truck loaded with wine, spotted a vehicle on the shoulder of the road and switched from the right lane to the left lane. "When the driver looked up from changing lanes, there was a pedestrian standing in the left lane of travel," Winningham's report reads.

"The driver was unable to avoid striking the pedestrian," the report concludes.

In addition to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department responded and assisted in the investigation. Also responding were the Cumberland County Fire Department and Cumberland County Emergency Medical Services.

The report does not indicate what kind of vehicle Aviv was driving, where he was headed or why he stopped in Cumberland County.

The east lane of I-40 was shut down to traffic while authorities investigated the accident.

Sources have told the Chronicle that a note was found inside Aviv's vehicle in that stated he was going to step into oncoming traffic.

At this time, the report has been sent to Nashville as a traffic fatality and if Nashville accepts that finding, it will be Cumberland County's second fatality of 2011.


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