Man injured after SUV overturns on I-70

Thursday, March 17, 2011 | 4:10 p.m. CDT
At about 1:45 p.m. Thursday, a man driving a Chevrolet Tahoe that was towing a trailer swerved off Interstate 70 and overturned at mile marker 122. Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper Tony Helfrecht said the injuries were thought to be moderate and not life-threatening when the driver was taken from the scene.

COLUMBIA — A man was transported to University Hospital on Thursday afternoon after flipping his SUV while driving westbound on Interstate 70.

The man drove his vehicle off the highway and flipped two or three times, witness John James said.

"(He was) swerving in and out of traffic for about 15 miles," James said.

He said he and the passenger in his car, Shauna James, called 911 before the Chevrolet Tahoe flipped.

Lt. Keith Dothage of the Columbia Fire Department said he didn't know the identity of the driver or the extent to which he had been injured, but he said the man was conscious when responders removed him from the vehicle.

Trooper Tony Helfrecht of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said he thought the driver sustained moderate injuries and was not in critical condition.

The driver was the only person in the vehicle during the accident, Dothage said.

The airbags had deployed in the vehicle, and the seat belt on the driver's side had been cut. The windshield and driver's side window were shattered in the accident.

James said he went down to the flipped SUV and turned off its ignition. Dothage said he tried to remove the key from the ignition but said it was stuck. He said responders were waiting for a tow truck to turn over the vehicle before addressing spill hazards.

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