Leader Blues

Saturday, September 30, 2006

TOP STORY>>Seven injured in truck wreck

Leader staff writer

A northbound tractor-trailer rig and a vehicle crossed over into the southbound lanes of rush hour traffic on a stretch of Hwy. 67/167 between Sher-wood and Jacksonville injuring seven people and creating a massive traffic jam Friday morning.

The big rig and a green vehicle tangled up while in the northbound lanes and plowed across the median before apparently sliding into southbound lanes, according to Capt. Steve Moore of the Jacksonville Fire Department, which responded to the scene. JFD received a call from dispatch at 8:49 a.m.

“The 18-wheeler flipped over on its side and appeared to slide across the southbound lanes cutting the traffic off,” Moore said.

Two of the injured people, the tractor-trailer driver and a woman who was ejected from her vehicle, were airlifted to area hospitals. Ambulances transported the other five people with injuries. Names of the injured were not yet released at press time. Emergency crews had to extricate two people from vehicles.

Five vehicles were towed from the accident scene by Ivy Hall Wrecker Service while an attempt got underway to upright the tractor-trailer rig.

One van had nearly all of its driver’s side stripped away.

The passenger’s side of a small foreign-made car was caved in nearly to the console.

Despite the extensive damages, no fatalities had been reported by press time.

Meanwhile, the traffic jam began to grow to the point that Jack-sonville police officers closed on-ramps to the southbound lanes of the freeway.

Motorists fortunate enough to reach off-ramps and those who were directed by officers to exit Hwy. 67/167 by taking the on-ramp at Redmond Road, also caused long congested lines on alternate traffic routes.

The big rig had blocked both of the southbound lanes, but according to Moore, officers had freed one lane for traffic around 10:45 a.m.

None of the vehicles caught fire.

The tractor-trailer was not hauling a load at the time of the accident.

There was no major fuel spill, according to the Jacksonville Fire Department.

Arkansas State Police are investigating the accident.

Emergency personnel from Jacksonville and Sherwood assisted in aiding the injured and removing vehicles from the freeway.
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office assisted in clean-up efforts following the accident.