Accident on U.S. 63 causes minor injuries, major spills

Friday, July 3, 2009 | 11:39 a.m. CDT; updated 11:45 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 3, 2009
A semitrailer overturned after drifting off U.S. 63 at around 9:25 a.m. on Friday near Gans Creek. The driver suffered minor injuries despite the damage. Before they begin cleanup, firefighters and highway patrolmen will investigate the overturned truck to make sure there are no hazardous materials.

COLUMBIA — Despite extensive guardrail damage and a truckload of wood fasteners covering the road, the driver of a semitrailer that overturned on Ponderosa Street was not badly injured.

Jackson Smith Jr., the driver, drifted off U.S. 63 near Gans Creek at 9:25 a.m., driving through the guardrail and onto Ponderosa Street, the road that runs parallel to the highway.

The truck overturned onto its right side, spilling the shipment of metal wood fasteners onto the road. Sgt. Chris Harris of the Missouri State Highway Patrol estimated that 150 feet of guardrail was damaged.

Smith, who was wearing a seat belt, suffered minor injuries and was not taken to a hospital.

Smith told patrolmen that he wasn’t sure what happened, but Harris, seeing that he had gradually drifted off the road, said it is possible Smith had started to fall asleep.

Tony Helfrecht, a trooper with the highway patrol, said cleanup could take about four to five hours.


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