The crash has forced the closure of westbound lanes at Mile Marker 161, about two miles from the Centerville/Dickson interchange.
Officials said a tractor trailer crossed the median around 1:46 p.m. Friday, and struck another vehicle. Video from Sky5 HD showed the semi and another vehicle off the shoulder of westbound lanes. A third vehicle was upside down off the right shoulder of eastbound lanes.
All three vehicles sustained heavy damage.
Three people were killed in the crash and at least two others, including a child, were transported to an area hospital with unknown injuries. All of the victims were apparently riding in the same car.
The identities of the victims have not yet been released.
Troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol were on the scene. The THP’s Critical Incident Response Team and Criminal Investigation division were headed to the area to determine exactly what happened.
Officials with the Tennessee Department of Transportation said the incident was cleared around 9 p.m.
Eastbound traffic was not closed, but very few vehicles were getting past the crash scene.
Traffic was backed-up nearly 20 miles westward. Officials advised travelers to avoid the area and find alternative routes. Westbound drivers were directed off the interstate at mile marker 172, though vehicles were moving slowly due to heavy congestion.
TDOT said it was not immediately known whether or not barriers would have made a difference in the incident. The median does meet TDOT's required regulation of being 50-feet-wide.
The incident remains under investigation.