ATHENS, AL. — A serious accident involving a tractor-trailer semi truck and two cars occurred on I- 65 Saturday morning, Aug 21, near Athens, Alabama. The crash injured the semi truck driver and four people (all from West Point, TN) who were in one of the cars, troopers said. The accident occurred at 9:15 a.m. about one-fourth mile north of the U.S. 72 interchange.
Athens is located in Limestone County, Alabama in the norhtern part of the state on the border with Tennessee. Athens is about 15 miles north of Decatur, 96 miles north of Birmingham and about 348 miles northeast of Mobile.
According to a report from DecaturDaily.com, the crash involved six people, five of whom were injured and taken to the Athens Limestone County Hospital. The names of those injured were 70-year-old Doris Kimbrell, 76-year-old Carol Clayton, 72-year-old Hope Andrews, and 54-year-old Sandy Rigling, all of West Point, TN and 46-year-old Charles Guinn of Montevallo. Andrew Fulton, 27, of Goodlettesville, TN was also involved in the crash but was not injured.
The fifth injured person, Carol Clayton, 76, was transported to Huntsville by ambulance, according to an Athens-Limestone Hospital spokeswoman. Huntsville Hospital had no record of her.
A Huntsville Hospital spokeswoman said Saturday afternoon that the driver of the car, Doris Kimbrell, 70, of West Point, Tenn., was in critical condition in the surgical intensive care unit.
Two of Kimbrell’s passengers were in fair condition. Troopers identified them as Hope Andrews, 72, and Sandy Rigling, 54. Clayton was also a passenger in the car.
Troopers said all of the women are from West Point, Tenn.
The Huntsville Hospital spokeswoman said the hospital discharged the truck driver, Charles Guinn, 46, of Montevallo.
Troopers said the driver of the other car, Andrew Fulton, 27, of Goodlettesville, Tenn., was not injured.
Battalion Chief David Andrews of the Athens Fire Department said the truck and Kimbrell’s vehicle were traveling north and were about one-fourth mile from Exit 351. Andrews said Fulton drove south on I-65. He said when the tractor-trailer flipped, some of its contents struck Fulton’s vehicle. He said Fulton was not involved in the actual wreck.
Andrews said the truck flipped into the median and landed upside down. He said Kimbrell’s car remained upright off to the east side of the northbound lane.
“The truck was carrying 41,800 pounds of foundry coke, a by-product of steel production,” Andrews said.
He said that as three medical helicopters landed, two from Medflight and one from Air Evac, officials as a safety precaution closed the highway near the scene.
He said one helicopter landed in the northbound lane, the other two in the southbound lane.
“Once the helicopters left, we opened the outside southbound lane to let traffic through,” he said. “We diverted traffic off to the shoulder of the northbound lane until we got ready to flip the truck. We closed the northbound lanes completely for almost two hours during that time.”
Andrews said a contractor loaded the coke into dump trucks in the inside southbound lane.
In addition to eight Athens firefighters, Athens police and troopers handled traffic control as troopers investigated the accident, Andrews said.
He said Department of Transportation workers did patch work on the road in the northbound lane after the wreck.
“When we cleared the scene at 1:21 p.m., one lane of traffic was open headed north and troopers and DOT personnel were still present,”Andrews said.
Troopers said the accident remains under investigation.
Published by Atlanta Georgia truck accident lawyer Fried Goldberg LLC, nationwide truck accident attorneys specializing in commercial truck injury law across the United States. For more information about Alabama and Tennessee trucking laws, truck injury causes and victims rights, talk an expert truck attorney for a free initial consultation at 1.877.591.1801.