Mother, three children injured in accidentPublished 9:32pm Wednesday, April 3, 2013
A mother and three children were injured after a logging truck in an adjacent lane hit a lower traffic light line at the intersection of Alabama Highway 219 and U.S. Highway 80 West, dragging down its supporting poles and causing the truck to lose control.
The children were sent to Vaughan Regional Medical Center with minor cuts and head trauma, while the mother was airlifted to Birmingham with more serious head and neck injuries. The truck driver was left unharmed, but was still sent to Vaughan for precaution.
Chief Alton Green, of the Selma Fire Department, said the incident is still under investigation.
“I don’t know what exactly caused the accident,” Green said. “I don’t know if someone ran a red light or someone illegally made a turn — we’re still trying to figure it out.”
Although the status of the mother was unclear at the scene, Green said her injuries seemed serious enough to warrant being airlifted to Birmingham.
“Usually, if they suspect they can’t handle the injuries in Selma, they’ll quickly fly them out,” Green said. “Anything dealing with the head and neck is pretty serious.”
Burl Brown, Selma resident, said he watched the incident unfold from a gas station across the highway.
“What happened was, I came out of the gas station, I saw that truck come down and the logs caught the top of the lower line and pulled it,” Brown said. “When [the log truck] pulled [the line] the truck lost control. The back of it — the logs just went in a tailspin and that [Expedition] was in the left lane, and when they spun around in the air, the logs came into their [vehicle].”
Brown said when the logging truck got caught on the lines leading to the traffic light, it pulled several other poles down as well.
“When [the logger] pulled the pole down, all the other poles followed. I was on the corner so I reversed back, because I thought all that was going to fall down. It was spooky; it scared me, it really did,” Brown said.
Brown said after watching the poles come down and strike the black Ford Expedition, carrying the unidentified mother and children, he parked his car and ran to help the injured.
After the accident, all eastbound traffic was halted as logs and debris from the accident covered the highway. Rex Thompson, district manager for Alabama Department of Transportation, said as of 7 p.m. technicians from Montgomery were on their way to repair the traffic signal.
“They’ll assess the situation once they get here,” Thompson said. “Getting the traffic light back up will just depend on how long it takes to get everything cleaned up.”
Alabama State Troopers are leading the investigation into what might have caused the accident.
Staff writer Katie Wood contributed to this report