2018-01-08 / Front Page

Truck driver airlifted after I-85 accident

By TIM GULLA
Ledger Staff Writer

A truck driver was airlifted for emergency medical treatment after a Friday evening accident that led to a temporary shutdown of southbound Interstate 85 in Blacksburg.

Blacksburg, Antioch and CKC fire departments all responded Friday at approximately 5 p.m. to a traffic accident at the 104 Mile Marker where a tractor-trailer, which reportedly had been headed north, crossed over the southbound lanes and struck a tree head-on.

Both legs of the driver, who was conscious and alert, were pinned inside the mangled truck cab, said Blacksburg Fire Chief Donovan Ford.

In addition to the three fire departments, Ford said Patterson Wrecker Service was immediately asked to bring its large wrecker to help with the extrication effort. The Regional One helicopter from Spartanburg Medical Center also was immediately summoned.

Ford estimated it took approximately 30 minutes to free the driver. The medical crew from the Regional One helicopter, which landed at nearby Shelton Fireworks, was brought by Upstate Carolina EMS personnel to the scene of the accident.

Neither the cause of the accident, nor the identity and condition of the truck driver, were immediately available over the weekend.

The accident led to the temporary shutdown of Interstate 85 Southbound until almost 9 p.m. Southbound traffic was detoured at the Tribal Road exit.

Ford said the Cherokee County Emergency Management office also responded due to diesel fuel spilled at the accident site. Fortunately, the truck was not hauling anything hazardous.

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