Log truck comes to rest on Pepsi-Cola building

Published 10:35 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An empty, unmanned log truck rolled across Highland Avenue from a gas station and came to a “soft” stop at the Pepsi-Cola Bottline Co. building, causing damage to the building. No one was injured. --Sarah Cook

Tuesday afternoon, a logging truck rolled across five lanes of traffic on West Highland Avenue, with no driver, and crashed into the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company.

James Jefferson of Selma was the driver of the truck, which was not carrying logs at the time.

Jefferson said he was putting air in his rear tires when he saw his truck begin to roll away.

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“My first thought was to take off running for it,” Jefferson said, saying there was no problem with the truck itself; he just forgot to lock the brakes down.

Meanwhile, Loretta Elmore, receptionist at the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, said she walked in to the office of Sylvia Smith and saw the truck rolling straight toward the window. From Smith’s view, she said she had no idea the truck was coming.

“I thought she wasn’t going to get up and I was going to have to come get her,” Elmore said. “And that’s when I screamed at her to get up.”

Mike Stokes, Selma Fire Department Fire chief, said thankfully no one was hurt in the incident.

“Luckily the driver was not in the vehicle,” Stokes said, adding he was glad Elmore notified Smith about the oncoming truck. “It was definitely a freak accident.”

However, there was damage done to the area of the building that was hit.

Robert Massey, a supervisor with Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, said as of now, his plan is to get a contractor to come and assess the damage and the company will go from there.

“All of that is going to have to be redone,” Massey said, motioning to the outside of the building and the inside wall of Smith’s office.

Smith said she is thankful no one was hurt in the accident and no cars were parked in the spot the truck hit.

“Just the hood of [the truck] looked like it was all the way to the top of the window,” she said. “I was just glad when it stopped.”