Originally created 03/15/05

Crash kills truck driver, causes chemical spill



Authorities were rerouting traffic around the 2300 block of Doug Barnard Parkway today after a tractor-trailer driver was killed and hazardous chemicals were spilled on the road.

The wreck occurred at about 3:15 p.m. as a welding truck, carrying metal cylinders of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, stopped at a railroad crossing while heading south on Doug Barnard Parkway, said Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Jimmy Wylds.

The driver of a Jackson logging truck heading south was unable to stop in time and slammed into the back of the welding truck, Lt. Wylds said.

The driver of the logging truck, who was not identified, died of blunt force trauma, he said. The welding truck 's driver was not injured.

The canisters ruptured during the collision, Lt. Wylds said.

Emergency Management Agency Director Howard Willis and the city's hazardous-materials team has inspected the accident site, Lt. Wylds said. Mr. Willis said there was no immediate danger from the gases, which are used to cut metal, because they dissipated. However, Lt. Wylds said it would take until 7 p.m. to clean the road and remove the driver's body from the logging truck.

Authorities placed a 1,500-foot barrier on both sides of the railroad tracks and were routing traffic west on 4-H Club Road, he said.

Norfolk Southern Railroad moved from nearby tracks several rail cars carrying chlorine as a precautionary measure, Lt. Wylds said.

Staff writer Kate Lewis contributed to this article.

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3904 or timothy.cox@augustachronicle.com.