Semi Left Dangling Off of Overpass After Motorist Fails to Yield
Henryetta, OK – Labor Day commuters on Interstate 40 in Henryetta experienced significant backups on Monday as crews worked for nearly eight hours to remove a semi-truck dangling from an overpass.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP), the accident occurred around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon in the westbound lanes of I-40 when a passenger vehicle did not yield to traffic as it merged onto the interstate from the on-ramp.
The car struck the semi which caused the driver of the truck to lose control.
Officials say the truck rolled and slid on the bridge crashing through the guard rail and eventually coming to a rest with the cab of the semi dangling off the I-40 overpass.
OHP said the dangling tractor was then hit by two oncoming cars that were traveling on Highway 75 (also known as the Indian Nation Turnpike) below.
Amazingly, only minor injuries were reported by all in the four-vehicle accident.
Police say the driver of the semi was able to jump out of the cab onto the highway below to get to safety.
The semi was hauling a tractor which was thrown down the bridge during the accident.
One OHP representative said the tractor was “thrown around the highway like a Tonka toy.”
Authorities hope that’s a reminder to the motoring public about how much force is involved in collisions with big rigs.
The identity of the driver has not been released though he was a driver for Tulsa-based Melton Truck Lines.
At one point, all lanes of I-40 and the northbound lanes of Hwy. 75 were closed as cleanup crews worked to clear the debris and remove the semi from the bridge.
Though traffic was diverted during the 8-hour cleanup, OHP reports the Labor Day Holiday created more traffic than normal.
All lanes of I-40 and the northbound lanes of Hwy. 75 re-opened around 10 p.m.
Photo courtesy Clint Painter with OHP