I-20 blocked for five hours

Whit Carpenter News

Interstate 20 was shut down for five hours on Wednesday, June 13, following a three-vehicle collision at around 10 in the morning.

Traffic was backed up for four miles, and the Georgia Department of Transportation diverted the flow onto Route 441, according to Sergeant Justin Howard from the Georgia State Patrol.

The collision occurred when a flatbed trailer carrying construction augers and metal plates became separated from the head of a semi-truck and stretched across two lanes of traffic.

James Overton, 32, from Jackson, S.C., noticed that the trailer was dislodged from his 2007 Oshkosh F2346. A steel plate, welded to the cab’s rear, became freed causing the trailer to separate, according to the accident report.

Overton attempted to remove the trailer from the road before another semi-truck in the left eastbound lane arrived. Noticing the impending collision, he fled the area on foot.

David Andrukevich, 55, from Hamden, CT, attempted to brake and steer his gold semi-truck to the left but struck the rear of the trailer. The impact caused his vehicle to jack-knife, and the cab twisted onto its left side into the grass medium.

Andrukevich was trapped in the vehicle for nearly 50 minutes. The Morgan County Fire Department cut a hole in the roof of the cab and pulled him out. He was transported to Piedmont Athens Regional by National EMS, according to the report.

“He had serious but not life-threatening injuries,” Howard said.

Robert Coleman, 33, from Alpharetta, Ga., was driving directly behind Andrukevich. He braked and turned to the right but struck the trailer’s side. Both lanes and the emergency lane were blocked.

Coleman was taken to Morgan Memorial Hospital for suspected minor injuries. He was released in the afternoon, according to Howard.

Overton was struck in the leg with debris from the wreck the report said, but did not require treatment at the scene.

“It’s surprising that only three vehicles were involved,” Howard said. “There could have been a lot more.”

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