Tractor-trailer overturns

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Weather likely cause of River Falls accident

By Stan J. Griffin

Inclement weather likely was the main contributor to the wreck of an 18-wheeler on U.S. 84 West in River Falls Tuesday morning.

According to Richard Moss of the River Falls Police Department, the wreck occurred at around 5:30 a.m., noting that around that time there were heavy rains and high winds in the area.

Moss said at about that time an AMX truck was heading westbound when he apparently hit a low spot in the road with heavy water and hydroplaned.

The driver lost control of the truck and the truck overturned, with the trailer of the truck landing in a culvert at the residence of Gary and Lorraine Sutton. The axles of the truck also came off when the truck overturned.

Moss said the driver of the truck did not appear to be seriously injured, although he was complaining of back pain and a possible injury to his left hand.

The driver was transported by the Andalusia Rescue Squad to Andalusia Regional Hospital.

Besides the River Falls Police Department, Kevin and Maryann Andrews of the River Falls Volunteer Fire Department, the Covington County Sheriff's Department and the Alabama Highway Department responded to the accident scene.

The accident resulted in an unpleasant scene for Lorraine Sutton, who woke up to find the trailer of the 18-wheeler in her front yard and the car which she had parked in the front yard of her residence damaged.

She said she did not actually see the accident, but said she definitely heard it.

"(The wreck) sounded like rolling thunder and my husband said he also thought it was thunder, but then I heard a motor running," said Mrs. Sutton. "My husband looked out the window and said there was an 18-wheeler in the yard and that the 18-wheeler had gotten my car. I got up and looked and thought to myself, 'Oh no.'"

Sutton, who moved to River Falls in 1990, said although the scene in her front yard was stunning, she said it was not totally unexpected.

"Living here (right off U.S. 84), we have a lot of trucks pass by so this is not a big surprise," said Sutton, who said she hoped her insurance would pay for the damage from the wreck. "I don't know what will happen now."