Dump truck overturns; driver trapped for hour
A truck driver for Reed Contracting Services, the contractor for the Bethel Road upgrade project, was injured on the job Friday morning when the dump truck he was driving veered out of control and overturned on Alabama 36 East in Hartselle.
He was transported to Huntsville Hospital by MedFlight after rapid responders worked for more than an hour to remove him from the truck’s cab. To facilitate the rescue, Hartselle Fire & Rescue had to use the “jaws of life” and a cutting tool to disconnect the top of the truck. Assisting them were Crossroads Ambulance Service personnel.
Hartselle Fire Chief Steve Shelton said extrication tools were necessary because the driver was trapped underneath the steering wheel. The extent of his injuries were not known.
“We didn’t want to use much force to move him and needed more room to ensure his protection,” Shelton pointed out.
He said the victim was in and out of consciousness during the rescue.
The accident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. about 100 yards east of the Roan Road and Hwy. 36 intersection. Tire tracks on the south shoulder of the road indicated that the driver lost control of the truck shortly after passing Roan Road and then regained control for a short distance before rolling over on its side, dumping a load of gravel on the north side of the road.
Kathryn Henderson witnessed the mishap while driving west in her car.
“I saw he (driver) was in trouble when he started coming straight at me in my lane,” she said. “I got on my brakes and got stopped just in time to time to avoid hitting him. The driver of a pickup truck in front of me swerved to avoid contact.”
A Reed Contracting supervisor said the truck driver was hauling gravel for the Bethel Road upgrade project at the time of the accident.
Hartselle police officers investigated the mishap. Traffic in both directions was detoured for approximately two hours.
Reed Contracting workers and equipment assisted wrecker operators in righting the truck and cleaning up the roadway.