2 trucks collide, clogging SR 52 for miles
By BRADY DENNIS
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 14, 2000
SAN ANTONIO -- A dump truck flipped on its side. Dirt and oil spilled, covering the road. Pieces of shattered lumber added to the mess.
And miles of angry motorists backed up in every direction.
That was the scene Wednesday morning in the wake of an accident at the Flying J truck stop, near the intersection of State Road 52 and Interstate 75.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers said a 1996 Kenworth semitrailer truck driven by Sidney Jerome Furrow, 46, of New Brunswick, Canada, was turning left out of the truck stop about 6:50 a.m, heading south on SR 52.
Furrow apparently turned into the path of Richard Wayne Someillan, 31, of Webster, who was headed north on SR 52, hauling a load of dirt of for A&J Trucking Inc. of Dade City.
Troopers said Someillan swerved in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid Furrow, who was hauling a load of lumber headed for San Antonio.
The dump truck plowed into the rear of the semi and overturned onto its side. The loads of both trucks spilled out onto SR 52, along with leaking oil from the dump truck.
Neither driver was seriously injured. Someillan was taken to Pasco Regional Medical Center and later released.
The early morning incident and cleanup frustrated rush hour drivers for more than 21/2 hours, tying up traffic until nearly 9:30 a.m.
Because of the location of the accident, both lanes of SR 52, as well as the exit and on ramps of I-75, were reduced to a molasseslike drip of traffic.
Tempers flared as drivers swerved onto grassy shoulders, honked at each other and ran red lights, trying to get clear of the mess.
Furrow was allowed to leave the scene, but he was cited for failure to yield a right of way from a driveway.
Audrey and John Bowen, the owners and namesakes of A&J Trucking, estimated their totaled dump truck was worth $75,000. They said they also estimate losing $500 a day in business until they get a new truck.
Still, Audrey Bowen said their truck wasn't the most important thing.
"Everything is insured; we just wanted to make sure Rick was okay," she said at the scene of the wreck. "It's just one of those things you can't help. I think it will work out."
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111