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Trailer Overturns and Shuts I-95 in Palm Coast, Wrecks 2 Cars, Doffs Tons of T-Shirts

| February 24, 2011

Early spring fashions: the truck dumped thousands of tons of t-shirts on the shoulder of the interstate. The driver of the truck is standing to the right, his arms crossed. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

An 18-wheeler traveling north just past the Palm Coast weigh station on I-95 overturned this morning at 2:45 a.m., triggering a wreck with two other cars and spilling parts of its freight of tens of thousands of tons of Hanes-brand t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies.

A 1999 Chevy Malibu from Palm Coast and a 2005 Honda SUV from Ormond Beach were involved in the wreck. Matthew Prickett, 24, of Palm Coast, driving the Malibu, was taken to Halifax Hospital in serious condition. Gordon Pfifer of Ormond Beach was at the wheel of the Honda Element SUV. He sustained minor injuries, and was taken to Florida Hospital Flagler.

The driver of the truck, Byron Washington, 43, was not injured. He was cited with careless driving. He remained at the scene through early morning, speaking with the Florida Highway Patrol and an insurance adjuster, watching the clean-up crew, and resting in a car. The insurance adjuster told the driver not to speak to a reporter, and the driver, asked about his destination or his age, would not comment.

Damage of the truck was put at $60,000. Each of the cars sustained $10,000 damage, according to the highway patrol.

The trailer itself blocked all three lanes of the Interstate for an hour, from about 3:30 to 4:30 a.m. until it was pushed to the east shoulder. The right lane remained closed until 8 a.m.

Sleep was not an issue: the truck had just pulled out of the weigh station, a few hundred yards south of the wreck scene. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Washington was driving north in the right lane when he noticed a vehicle ahead applying the brakes. Washington reached for a drink from his cooler and found himself drifting off the road.

Deep tire tracks show that Washington swerved off the road, past the emergency lane and onto the grassy, inclined shoulder, skimming by a light pole there. Tire marks show a wide arc over some 50 yards as the driver tried to swerve back onto the road. He did so, just before the following light pole, but the trailer didn’t. Instead, it tipped and smashed into the light pole, smashing it off its pedestal. The pole sheared off the top of the back-third of the trailer which, tipping, took the truck on its side with it. The truck slid another 50 yards or so across the asphalt until it came to a rest, its nose pointing northwest, near the guard rail and triggering the collisions with the two other cars.

Approximately three minutes later, according to the highway patrol, the Malibu and the Honda driving toward the scene noticed debris but not the truck itself. The Malibu struck the tractor tires and stopped facing north, in the left and center lanes. The SUV also struck the tires of the trailer and stopped in the same area.

Washington, the driver, worked for Greenville, Tenn.-based Forward Air Inc., which had an operating revenue of $133 million in the quarter ending in December 2010. One of the company’s regional hubs is in Orlando.

Two trailers were brought in for the clean-up. Some 12 workers toiled by the side of the road to pick up the dumped clothes, crush the boxes and pile them into the trailer. Another was readied to load the mostly undamaged load still in the overturned trailer. Both trailers, carrying an estimated 40,000 pounds of shirts, according to John’s Towing’s John Rogers, were to be driven to the company’s Orlando hub.

The 2006 Freightliner truck was totaled. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The trailer part of the truck smashed into a light pole, which itself sheared off the back-third of the trailer top. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The back end of the truck. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Most of the load was undamaged. Not so the truck. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

What Forward Air's trailers usually look like. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Lights out for the pole. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The early morning scene. (© FlaglerLive)

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7 Responses for “Trailer Overturns and Shuts I-95 in Palm Coast, Wrecks 2 Cars, Doffs Tons of T-Shirts”

  1. palm coaster says:

    For sure a load of Hanes Brand t-shirts outsource to Bangladesh, India or China as the ones we wear read. Also the fact that at least thank God an American “Forward Air” ground transport from airports to destination also contributes to pinpoint the origin. Hanes Brands Inc is one more of our American Corporations where the policy of “slavery being very profitable” drives their greed outsourcing our jobs. Meanwhile we fund the unemployment benefit checks of our garment workers standing on line to receive benefits and do not collect their hefty and government needed income taxes and payrol taxes that makes the bigger income of our government budgets revenue. How more retarded can be this unregulated free trade? Good way to destroy America unless we tax all imports asap and bring our jobs back home. Better to have the jobs generated by USA made goods to be able to pay even if a little higher those goods, other that by being jobless we can’t hardly afford the mostly low quality junk produced overseas. I started going without it, until will be Made in the USA..what about you all?

  2. resident says:

    My goodness,,, how about leaving a comment about the actual accident,,a 24 year old man from our community is lying in a hospital in serious condition, and also another driver injured, I can agree with your opinion on what you have commented about, but the reality is,,the driver of that truck has caused a terrible accident, we should all be praying that this young man is going to live and be ok!

  3. palm coaster says:

    My appreciation to resident for raising a very good point.
    My sincere wishes for Mathew from Palm Coast to recover soon from his serious injuries. Best wishes also to Gordon from Ormond Beach to recover from his minor injuries. We should be thankful than no one lost their lives.

  4. resident says:

    Thank You Palm Coaster,, your opinion and view of the other matter are correct and important also,but right now these people involved are the most important,,thank you very much for commenting again and wishing them well,,most people probably would not have

  5. Tom says:

    It would probably help, Palm Coaster, if you learned to use the English language properly before posting. The structure of your sentences actually leads me to believe you weren’t even born in the United States. It is much more likely you are just attempting to start an argument for your own pleasure because you definitely didn’t post anything at all that actually pertains to the story.

  6. palm coaster says:

    Tom, in how many more languages than English can you express or write your thoughts in the proper sentence structure ? German, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, Greek, any other? Wherever a citizen of America was born, is not of any significance under our Constitution, except to unimportant and ill intended individuals.
    Wether with perfect or imperfect sentence structure we do have the right of Freedom of Speech, who does not like it can always refrain from reading.. I do not care to start arguments, but to bring about the sad reality of the systematic destruction of our American Middle Society taking place, that affects most of us, while exempting and benefiting few.
    At least I am not the VicePresident mispelling potato and having to be corrected by 12 years old Wiliam Figueroa in Trenton NJ, June 1992.

  7. Tom says:

    Yet another post that has nothing at all to do with the story. There are political pages for this crap. You can go there and cry about anything you want.

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