Bradley Co. wreck severely injures 23-year-old semi driver - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Truck driver recovering after morning crash

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The mangled semi is pulled out to the roadway after the early morning crash Thursday in Bradley County. Photo by Michelle Heron/WRCBtv.com The mangled semi is pulled out to the roadway after the early morning crash Thursday in Bradley County. Photo by Michelle Heron/WRCBtv.com
BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: A truck driver is recovering after a serious crash on Interstate 75.
 
It happened early Thursday morning in Bradley County. Responders say a semi side-swiped an SUV that was pulled off on the interstate around mile marker 31.
 
Responders originally thought the semi took off, but found it crashed into a wooded area a short time later.
 
When crews got to the cab of the truck, they couldn’t even see the driver through the mangled metal inside. They could only hear his voice.
 
“That crash, kind of put you in the mind of some of the ones we worked 20 years ago,” Stan Clark with Bradley County EMS said.
 
For two hours, crews worked to get to the driver. He was later flown to Erlanger in Chattanooga.
 
Stan Clark has worked as an emergency responder for 30 years. He says crashes like this one are unique because of how careful they must be when getting someone out.
 
“It’s not one of those situations where you run in and start cutting and pulling things. It’s done systematically and it’s done safely,” Clark added.
 
It took crews nearly six hours to clear the scene. The 18 wheeler was carrying rolls of paper, each weighing around 6,000 lbs.
 
The driver of the SUV was not hurt in the crash.
 
At last check, the driver of the semi was listed in serious condition.

PREVIOUS STORY: An early morning accident with an 18-wheeler and an SUV created some confusion this morning on I-75 in Bradley County until all parties were located.

Initial reports to the Bradley County EMS indicated the SUV had been struck by the 18-wheeler, but when authorities arrived, the SUV was the only vehicle around.

As the crews finished their evaluation of the SUV’s driver, they proceeded north and found the 18-wheeler on its side deeply in the woods alongside Interstate 75.

The 23-year-old driver of the 18-wheeler was pinned in the wreckage, and safely removed during a 2-hour extrication. Bradley County EMS said in a news release that the driver sustained serious injuries.

Erlanger’s Life Force medical helicopter was dispatched to bring the driver to the hospital for examination and treatment.

“This was one of those accidents where the training of the first responders paid off. When you have a patient trapped insidewreckage like this there are so many things that can go wrong. Bradley County Fire and Rescue did a great job in removing the patient safely.” Stan Clark, EMS spokesperson.

The 18-wheeler’s load of rolls of paper that weigh over 6,000 pounds each will need to be off-loaded from the trailer.

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