Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2003
“It gee’d when it ought’ve hawed.”
That’s the way Novice Adams explained how his 18-wheeler tractor-trailer came to be resting on its side just off the U.S. Highway 80 bypass.
Adams is a driver for Fleetwood Transportation of Texas. He was hauling nearly 60,000 pounds of bark out of Ackerman, Miss., to IP’s Riverdale Mill Tuesday morning when things took an unexpected turn.
Adams was turning off the bypass onto River Road when he glanced in his rearview mirror just as his left rear tandem wheels were leaving the ground. The next thing he knew, Adams said, his rig had tipped over onto its right side and come to rest on the shoulder of the road.
There were no skid marks on the pavement or indentations in the muddy ground of the shoulder to indicate that the truck had taken the turn too fast or cut too sharply.
“I wasn’t in no hurry,” Adams said. “This is the only load I was going to make today.”
Adams was thankful that he was not injured in the accident. “I always wear my seat belt,” he said. “You never know what’s going to happen out here.”
He added that being in the cab of the tractor as it turned over was an eerie feeling.
“It was a wild ride when it tipped over,” Adams said. “I’ve drove for 15 years all over the lower 48 states, and I’ve never had anything like this to happen.”
A pair of front-end loaders were brought in to remove part of the load of bark. Two wreckers then hooked cables to the truck and righted it as state troopers kept the traffic flowing smoothly.
Asked whether he had any observations about his morning’s adventure, Adams shrugged then said, “It about makes me sick, I know that.”