Friday, March 7, 2003

Ky. trucker killed when 3 semis collide

The Associated Press

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - A truck driver was killed Thursday after a predawn accident on Interstate 40 involving three tractor-trailer rigs.

Timothy Walters, 43, of Corydon, Ky., died after being pinned in the wreckage of his tanker truck, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The wreck happened about 3:30 a.m. in Putnam County, about 75 miles east of Nashville. A tractor-trailer truck traveling west ran across the highway median and collided with two other trucks in the eastbound lanes, according to THP spokeswoman Beth Tucker Womack.

Walters' truck was carrying 4,000 gallons of ammonia bisulfate, but Putnam County emergency management officials said less than a pint had leaked.

The eastbound lanes remained closed until late Thursday afternoon.

"This was big mess, and a tragedy for the family of the man who was killed," said Putnam County Fire Chief Darryl Blair. "But we are all very fortunate that there was no fire and no diesel or chemical leaks."

The other truck drivers weren't seriously injured, but a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officer working the wreck was hurt in a second accident when his car was struck by a vehicle that entered the closed highway.

Gary Garrison, 48, was taken to the hospital with a minor back injury, Womack said.

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