Lowndes County Sheriff’s and District 3 Volunteers rushed to the scene of an overturned log truck that had wrecked on Hwy 50E just west of the s-curve around 11:30am Tuesday. Rescue crews arrived on scene to find 45 yr. old Bobby Darwin Jr., of Hamilton Alabama, laying in the cab of his overturned rig, trapped against the steering wheel.
Witnesses said Darwin, a driver for Shaw Logging based in Winfield Al., lost control of his load as he took the curve at the intersection of Hwy 50 and Tabernacle Rd. Darwin apparently over-corrected, and his load of mixed hardwoods shifted, causing the 18 wheeler to swing first to the north side of the road and then slam violently onto its’ driver’s side. The crash threw the logs nearly 70 ft from the point of initial impact and broke a water main in the front yard of a home on the south side of Hwy 50.
As water began to puddle on the ground beneath the spilled logs, rescue crews worked to free Darwin from the cab of his truck. The windshield of the 1991 Freightliner was destroyed on impact and Darwin became pinned against the driver’s seat by his steering wheel. BMH-GT paramedics stabilized Darwin, employing an oxygen mask, as District 3 volunteers used a reciprocating saw to cut the steering wheel loose and freed his left knee.
Darwin suffered several small cuts and sounded somewhat groggy when he asked paramedics: “Is this a dream?”
Rescue crews worked for nearly ten minutes before Darwin was freed from the cab and placed in a full spinal package. Darwin complained of left knee pain and neck pain as he was brought to the waiting ambulance. He was transported to BMH-GT via ambulance shortly after 12:00pm in serious condition.
A large backlog of eastbound traffic had built up west of the accident during the extrication and vehicles were backed up nearly a full mile to the intersection by Dutch Village Shell. Several log trucks, tractor trailers and other vehicles were directed by deputies to turn around in the Golden Triangle Ready Mix work yard and head west to find another route. Deputies redirected westbound Hwy 50 traffic down Tabernacle Rd. as well.
District 3 volunteers began to survey the scene and noticed the battery compartment had dislodged in the wreck and was perilously close to a puddle of oil on the ground beneath the wreckage. District 3 trainee William Rood was “volunteered” to disconnect the positive power wires from the three batteries. Rood cut one of the lines and sparks flew, temporarily startling the assembled crowd. After a bit of wrangling, the batteries were safely disabled.
Henry’s Towing arrived on scene and developed a clean up strategy with Highway Patrol officers and MDOT crewmembers. Henry’s large wrecker, “Child’s Play”, was joined on scene by Parker Brothers Towing’s “Purple People Eater”, and the two finalized a plan to right the rig after the logs were moved from the road.
Burns Dirt Construction arrived in a Deere 624H bulldozer and began to clear the logs from the roadway. An East Lowndes Water crew also arrived on scene to locate the source of the water main break, but had to wait until the logs were all removed before repairing the break. [Around this time(12:30pm) the skies opened up and a severe rain fell on the area. The heavy downpour did not slow the removal of the truck, but did delay the repair work to the water main until later that afternoon. In total, the accident blocked the roadway for nearly two full hours. CK]0