A fatal logging truck accident that killed two and injured 21 others on Monday, may be blamed on the brakes failing on the truck according to the Van Buren County Sheriff’s office. The truck was hauling logs when it suddenly lost control on a hill in Arkansas and dumped its load onto a crew of construction workers building a bridge, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.
The brakes on the truck may have failed when the truck went down a road in Clinton, approximately 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of Little Rock, leaving construction workers with nowhere to hide when the logs barreled down the hill towards them.
“They were like sitting ducks on the bridge,” Van Buren County Sheriff Scott Bradley said. “There was nowhere for them to run to get away from the logs.”
About five of those injured were listed in critical condition and 12 were being treated for “major injuries, according to Ozark Health Medical Center administrator David Deaton.
The crew was working on an Arkansas State Highway and Transportation project to expand the bridge from three lanes to five.
The driver of the logging truck, Jerry Hickman, suffered minor injuries.
The sheriff said that Hickman drove down an incline near the northern edge of the bridge and then the truck flipped over. Logs fell off the truck and onto the workers on the bridge.
“He got up to a good speed when he lost it,” Bradley said.
“It was pretty horrific,” he said. “We had people trapped under logs, people with broken legs, people with severe head lacerations. It was very chaotic.”
Rescue teams had to cross steel rebar rods to rescue the injured, he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
The truck driver has not been charged for the accident but was in custody for a matter related to a previous offense.
Failed Brakes May Be To Blame for Fatal Logging Truck Accident