DICKSON COUNTY, TN (WSMV) - Driver complaint records show TDOT was aware of a bridge joint on 1-40 had deteriorated a day before a motorcyclist crashed and was severely injured.

30-year-old Michael Soots has now been told by doctors that he could lose his arm due to multiple broken bones following the crash on October 2nd.

“It’s bad, I’m not going to lie, it’s hurting,” Soots said.

Soots was riding his motorcycle at the 166 mile marker in Dickson County when he thought he had been hit by something that caused him to crash.

Soots said he was told by witnesses that they thought he had hit a pothole.

However, TDOT said a bridge joint had deteriorated.

Internal complaint reports, obtained by News4 Investigates, show a driver had complained to TDOT that there were multiple holes in the interstate a day before the crash.

News4 Investigates asked TDOT: did the state simply wait too long to make the repairs?

“We would always say that it’s unfortunate when anyone is injured due to maintenance on one of our highways. The unfortunate reality is it does take time to schedule,” said B.J. Doughty, TDOT spokeswoman.

Doughty said because of the high rate of speed on that stretch of interstate, TDOT needed time in order to coordinate with state troopers and take steps to warn drivers of potential lane closures.

Doughty said that time was needed to not only prepare to make the repairs, but also to keep their employees safe working on the site.

“That shows what care we have to take to keep our people safe,” Doughty said.

Soots said his accident shows how easily a motorcyclist can crash on deteriorated pavement, and TDOT should have taken that into consideration.

“There’s a lot of us riding around and we’re riding on two wheels. The road has to be safe,” Soots said.

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Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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