Concrete Piece-2a.jpg

Police say this large chunk of concrete was thrown from the Shelby Avenue Bridge.

NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Police believe a large rock thrown from an overpass caused a deadly crash in downtown Nashville, and detectives are working to determine if it was done intentionally.

The incident happened in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 24 near the exit for Shelby Avenue just before 5 a.m. Tuesday.

According to the Metro Nashville Police Department, officials are working to determine if the rock was intentionally thrown off the Shelby Avenue Bridge, hitting a Nissan GT-R sports car on the interstate below.

Joe Shelton

Joe Shelton, 54, was killed in the crash when the rock hit his windshield.

The driver, identified as 54-year-old Joe C. Shelton Jr. of Pleasant View, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The rock landed in the windshield of Shelton's vehicle and hit him in the face. After Shelton was hit, he sideswiped a Toyota pickup truck and a guardrail before coming to a stop on the Silliman Evans Bridge.

TDOT bridge inspectors determined that the chunk of concrete was not part of the bridge's structure and instead resembles part of a roadway curb.

According to police, Shelton was on his way to work at the Nissan plant in Smyrna when the incident happened.

The company released the following statement after his death:

"We are saddened to learn of Joe’s passing. Our deepest sympathies are with his family members, friends and colleagues at this difficult time."

Investigators are now reviewing surveillance footage from cameras in the area in hopes of gathering a suspect description.

If you have any information about the case or saw anyone on the bridge between 4:50 a.m. and 4:55 a.m. Tuesday, call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and can qualify for a cash reward.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Multimedia Producer

Kara is an Emmy Award-winning digital producer. She is a Cincinnati native and an alumna of the University of South Carolina. She previously worked at WRDW-TV in Augusta, Ga., before moving to Nashville five years ago to work at WSMV-TV.

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