Driver seriously injured in tractor-trailer accident

May 19, 1994|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

A tractor-trailer driver was seriously injured and trapped in the cab of his rig for 75 minutes after it overturned about a mile outside Union Bridge at 2:30 p.m. yesterday.

Charles Cave, 33, of Broadway, Va., a driver for Dayton (Va.) Transport Co., was flown by state police Medevac helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with head, leg, wrist and possible internal injuries.

He had just loaded his tank-type trailer with 20 tons of cement at the Lehigh Portland Cement Plant in Union Bridge and was driving south on Route 75 into Frederick County when he encountered a sharp curve at Clemsonville Road, state police said.

Unable to negotiate the curve in the heavy truck, he drove through the wooden fence of a 60-acre horse farm and the rig overturned. The tractor-trailer rolled over on its left side and came to rest facing north, having spun 180 degrees on the tall grass of the pasture.

Fire and rescue workers from Carroll and Frederick counties had to cut away the roof, right door and a section of the steering wheel to release the driver, whose left leg was pinned between the seat and the steering column.

Twenty brood mares, many of them heavily pregnant, had been in the pasture and scurried for safety, running up a hill toward the stable, according to an official of Fox Den Farm, owned by Tom Winebrenner. Three of the mares could not be caught and stood overlooking the crash site as rescue workers treated the injured man and worked to free him.

Firefighters from Union Bridge attached a heavy cable from the winch at the front of their rescue truck to the underside of the overturned tractor to prevent it from rolling as they cut away sections of the cab to release Mr. Cave.

Officials of the Hahn Transport Co. of New Market, Frederick County, a sister company of Dayton Transport, went to the crash scene with three heavy-duty tow trucks to right the overturned rig after police and fire officials completed their investigation.

A representative of Hahn Transport said the load was heading for Harrisonburg, Va. He was unable to say how long the injured driver had been with the Dayton company or whether the driver had been to Lehigh Cement previously.

Residents of the area said that spot on Route 75 has been the site of numerous accidents and at least six of them involved tractors-trailers failing to negotiate the curve.

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