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Dump truck driver is injured in crash

A Jefferson County man was seriously injured after he sideswiped a truck and flipped his loaded dump truck near the intersection of Augusta Highway and Harrison Road last Wednesday afternoon.

James Lee Gaines, of Stapleton, Ga., was driving the Reeves Co. dump truck, according to Cpl. Chris Wright of the Georgia State Patrol post in Grovetown.

Mr. Gaines, who was trapped in the crash, which demolished the dump truck, had to be freed by firefighters/first responders with the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services.

He was treated at the scene by personnel with the McDuffie County Emergency Medical Services before being taken by ambulance to Medical College of Georgia Hospital in Augusta. Rescue workers freed Mr. Gaines from the twisted wreckage of his cab using the Jaws of Life.

Several firefighters with the Thomson Fire Department happened to be doing a training exercise in the parking lot of the old Winn-Dixie shopping center when the accident occurred. They immediately went to help Mr. Gaines.

Robert Terrell, 46, of Davisboro, Ga., was driving the other vehicle, a Ford F-350 owned by Green Fence Co., of Davisboro. Mr. Terrell was not hurt.

"I saw that dump truck coming straight at me and I jumped out of mine," he said at the scene. "I thought he was going to hit me head-on."

The crash occurred shortly before 1 p.m. as Mr. Terrell was preparing to make a right turn onto Harrison Road off Augusta Highway at the traffic signal, Trooper First Class Willie Ramsey said.

Mr. Gaines, meanwhile, was traveling west on the Augusta Highway, approaching the traffic signal at the time.

He sideswiped the Ford before flipping at least twice, coming to rest in a ditch.

Trooper Ramsey charged Mr. Gaines with traveling too fast for conditions and running a red light.

Cpl. Wright, along with Sgt. Ritchie Howard, assisted in the investigation of the wreck.

Officer Michael May of the Georgia Department of Public Safety Motor Compliance Division inspected the dump truck for any mechanical problems.

Traffic was snarled at the busy intersection for more than two hours. Deputies Kerry Johnson and Barry Whitfield of the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department helped direct motorists safely around the crash site.

Web posted on Thursday, April 29, 2010

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