Man airlifted after Florala wreck

Published 12:14 am Thursday, May 29, 2014

Official: Absence of hospital didn’t affect response

A two-vehicle wreck Tuesday in Florala has left a Dozier man with serious injuries after his pick-up truck collided with a tanker truck.

Officer Jessica Lawhorn with the Florala Police Department worked the scene and said the accident occurred on Fifth Avenue near Ala. Hwy. 331.

“A tanker truck that is used to carry cooking oil was traveling northbound and a Toyota extended-cab pick-up headed into town from Lockhart were involved,” Lawhorn said.

Lawnhorn said the accident occurred when the driver of the Toyota, 40-year-old William Dewrell, appeared to cross over into oncoming traffic in the northbound lane, striking the tanker in the side.

“Luckily, it didn’t have anything in it,” Lawhorn said of the tanker truck. “The Toyota was crushed and the driver was trapped inside briefly. He sustained injuries and the EMS workers were able to get him out.”

While Dewrell was taken by LifeFlight to a Pensacola, Fla., hospital, Lawhorn said the driver of the tanker, 35-year-old Warrick Shepherd, of Highland Home, was not injured, but did sustain damage to his company’s vehicle.

“The truck’s axle was broken and it blew out two of his tires,” Lawhorn said. “(Shepherd) actually got out and checked on (Dewrell) and called 911 immediately.”

In December, Florala’s hospital closed abruptly, leaving a substantial gap in local medical services, but Lawhorn said the accident would likely have been handled no differently had the hospital been an option.

“They may have taken (Dewrell) there for IVs and things like that,” she said. “But due to the severity of his injuries, he would have likely still been taken by LifeFlight.”