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Driver is trapped when truck overturns

BARNETT, Ga. -- A 30-year-old man is lucky to be alive after he was nearly crushed to death in the cab of his big rig after he lost control while rounding a curve on Interstate 20 in Warren County last Tuesday morning.

Sgt. First Class Jason Johnson, commander of the Georgia State Patrol post in Grovetown, identified the injured man as Charles Edward Dow, III, of Moncks Corner, S.C.

Mr. Dow received assorted injuries as a result of the wreck, which occurred just beyond the 154 Barnett exit about 6:45 a.m. He was trapped inside the twisted wreckage of the truck's cab for more than two hours. Firefighters with the Warren County Fire/Rescue Services, headed by Director Tommy Wolfe, used the Jaws of Life and other tools to free the trapped man.

GSP Trooper First Class Rich Fishel, who assisted Sgt. Johnson in the investigation of the wreck, said at one point rescue workers called on the services of a wrecker crew to attempt to pull the cab off the ground, believing that might free Mr. Dow. That did not work, and rescue workers had to cut metal away to free him.

Mr. Dow was pulled from the wreckage shortly before 9 a.m. After being stabilized at the scene, he was taken by helicopter to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital in Augusta.

"He apparently fell asleep, because there was no evidence of him breaking before the wreck," Sgt. Johnson said at the scene.

Mr. Dow, who was traveling west in a 1999 Freightliner flat bed tractor trailer, was carrying a roll of sheet metal, which weighed 45,250 pounds.

The giant roll of sheet metal was thrown off the trailer, creating a large crater in the median of the interstate highway. After losing control, the truck driver flipped the rig over onto one side.

Traffic was snarled in both westbound lanes for more than an hour. Many motorists detoured onto U.S. Highway 278 and through Crawfordville before linking back onto the interstate highway.

Sgt. Johnson said no charges were filed in connection with the mishap.

Officers with the Georgia Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Division also assisted troopers with the Georgia State Patrol in probing the cause of the wreck.

Web posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010

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