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Crash sends truck off I-64

Oct. 03, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

ONA – Police believe fatigue may have been a factor in an early-morning crash that sent a tractor trailer off Interstate 64, between two bridges and onto a small road below.

Authorities received word of the accident at 3:51 a.m. Wednesday. It occurred near the 23-mile marker at the Grant Gardens Road overpass, near the Ona Little League baseball fields. The road beneath was closed in both directions with momentary, westbound lane closures on I-64. No injuries were reported.

Milton Police Patrolman D.T. Bishop identified the truck driver as a 66-year-old man from Jackson, Tenn. The driver, unsure about what occurred, told police his load might have shifted, causing him to lose control.

That sent the tractor-trailer through a guardrail and median fencing and then over an embankment between the east and westbound bridges of I-64. Crews described it as a shallow overpass, which helped the driver walk away without injuries as his truck had little distance to travel to the road below.

Bishop cited the driver’s inability to recall what happened as reason for his suspicion of fatigue as a possible contributing factor.

The cleanup process continued into early afternoon Wednesday. Mike Shirkey, of Paul’s Towing, said crews planned to remove the truck’s load of 22 drums of sandblasting agent. That was to be followed by pulling the truck off the embankment and onto Grant Garden Road for towing.

Bishop said the crash was indirectly related to a single-vehicle accident during Wednesday’s morning commute. It occurred when a Cross Lanes, W.Va., man told police another driver unexpectedly slowed upon seeing the wrecked tractor-trailer.

The Cross Lanes man swerved toward the median to avoid contact with the slowing vehicle, which caused him to lose control and make contact with the cable barrier.

Follow Curtis Johnson at Facebook.com/curtisjohnsonHD and via Twitter @curtisjohnsonHD.

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