Logging Truck Wreck Kills Two, Injures 19

Workers search the site of a loggin truck wreck that killed two and injured 19

Two people were killed and 19 others were injured when an out of control logging truck wrecked in Clinton, Arkansas, The Huffington Post reports.

The wreck took place Monday afternoon in the town about 70 miles north of Little Rock. Workers were widening a bridge on Highway 65 when they found themselves in the lethal path of the logging truck. There are conflicting reports of what caused the truck to wreck: according to The Huffington Post, the truck’s brakes failed, causing it to overturn and dump its cargo on the work crew. A report by ABC news, however, cites a blown tire as the likely cause of the accident.

Whatever the reason, the wreck was impossible for the work crew to avoid, according to Van Buren County Sheriff Scott Bradley. The sheriff said that the men were like “sitting ducks” on the bridge, adding that there was “nowhere for them to run to get away from the logs.”

The driver of the logging truck, who has been identified by authorities as 39-year-old Jerry Hickman of Bee Branch, suffered minor injuries in the wreck, which happened on the northern side of the bridge. The truck approached the work zone on what the sheriff described as a “steep incline” before flipping into the wreck. Bradley added that Hickman “got up to a good speed when he lost it.”

Conflicting reports cite different causes for the wreck

David Deaton, administrator of the nearby Ozark Health Medical Center, where the injured were taken after the wreck, said that of the 19 patients the center received, 12 had suffered “major injuries.”

Bradley echoed that sentiment, calling the scene “horrific,” adding “We had people trapped under logs, people with broken legs, people with severe head lacerations. It was very chaotic.”

According to state police spokesman Bill Sadler, an investigation into the wreck is ongoing, and could take up to a month to complete. On Tuesday, officials also identified the two men killed in the wreck. Fifty-one-year-old Hubert Keith Moore, of Chester, died at the scene, while Ricardo Trochez, 40, of Atkins, passed away at Ozark Center.

Another wreck involving a logging truck took place earlier this year, as The Inquisitr reported. Ten people were injured in the Idaho pileup, which was caused by slick roads. On that occasion, the logging truck remained upright, and did not spill its potentially lethal cargo.

The company in charge of the bridge widening, Mobley Contractors Inc. of Morrilton, did not return an AP message seeking comment. It was also unclear whether the driver of the logging truck would be cited for the wreck.

[Images via The Washington Post ]