18-wheeler jackknifes, traffic halted

Published 12:23 am Saturday, October 4, 2014

Traffic was backed up for three hours when a car collided with an 18-wheeler, causing the truck to jackknife across Hwy. 331 in Florala.

The accident occurred just before the intersection of Hwy. 331 and Hwy. 55, in front of Florala Auto Service.

The vehicles collided when a Buick driven by Tori Michelle Sanders of Laurel Hill, Fla., attempted to cross lanes and pull into the Liberty Gas Station.

“The subject was in the inside lane of the southbound traffic lane,” FPD Officer Ryan Anderson said. “She was going to turn into the gas station and didn’t notice the oncoming 18-wheeler behind her. I don’t know how.”

The 18-wheeler, a Swift transport truck, slammed on his breaks and caught the car, Anderson said.

When the vehicles caught, it turned the cab to the left, causing the 18-wheeler to jack-knife and collide with a palm tree and then a fence, he said.

“They ended up on the north bound lane in the fence of the Florala Auto Service,” Anderson said.

Diesel fuel was pouring out of the truck, but mechanics were able to cap the tank.

EMA and the fire department officials arrived on scene with chemicals to clean up the spill.

No injuries were reported, but the driver of the Buick was shaken, Anderson said.

“She (Sanders) missed the palm tree by 2 or 3 feet, the truck hit it square on” he said. “If she’d have caught it, it would’ve been over.

“She wouldn’t have gone through it like he did. It was a big palm, too,” he said.