Driver avoids serious accident

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2006

ROXIE &8212; Quick reflexes by a truck driver turned what could have been a gruesome accident scene into just another traffic jam late Tuesday afternoon.

Rick Wallace was driving his loaded log truck north on Mississippi 33 on his way to Roxie. A few miles short of the U.S. 84 intersection &8212; the scene of a few wrecks itself &8212; he came over a crest in the highway and saw a strange sight.

&8220;I don&8217;t know if she was swerving or doing donuts or what, but I veered right,&8221; he said.

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taking his rig onto the soft shoulder, Wallace corrected to the left. The car, a red Kia, continued toward him.

&8220;She slid right under my wheels,&8221; he said.

The contact, which occurred under the front of his trailer, caused him to go up onto his right wheels &8212; &8220;up on nine wheels,&8221; he said &8212; and sent him careening back across the highway.

Meanwhile, Keith Tillage was driving his Ford Expedition south on the highway, saw the accident in progress and pulled over to stay out of the fray.

His stopping point was directly in the path of Wallace&8217;s truck, but &8220;he punched it, and I didn&8217;t do anything but scrape him.&8221;

None of the three drivers was seriously injured. Wallace lost his load and said he was bruised but otherwise unhurt.

The woman driving the Kia, Trenice White of Gloster, was treated and released from Field Memorial Hospital in Centreville.

Workers on the scene reported only &8220;her pride&8221; seemed to have been injured.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M spokesman Sgt. Rusty Boyd said the trooper on the scene reported that White appeared to have run off the road before losing control.

&8220;More than likely, she was overcorrecting,&8221; Boyd said. &8220;That&8217;s what was determined as the cause of the whole situation.&8221;

No citations were issued.

Warren Adams, Wallace&8217;s boss and the owner of Adams Lumber and Timber Co., said when he got the call, he &8220;expected the worst,&8221; and downplayed the loss to the mangled tractor-trailer.

&8220;It was only some bent metal and a crushed cab.&8221;

He said he was happy that was the extent of it.

&8220;He swerved right to keep from hitting her,&8221; he said. &8220;If he had hit her head-on, he&8217;d have killed her.&8221;