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Pick-Up Truck Nearly Decapitated in Rig Collision on SR100; Driver, 21, Critical

| April 20, 2012

Luke Weston Barraclough, the 21-year-old driver, realized too late that the rig was making a turn. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The stretch of State Road 100 between County Road 205 and John Campbell Drive is as straight as any road gets in Flagler County, for several miles. That’s not been an indication of its safety. The stretch of 100 between Bertha Road and County Road 55 was closed for 90 minutes this afternoon following a shattering wreck at the entrance of Johnston Brother Farms, when a Frod pick-up truck smashed into and under an 18-wheel rig that was turning onto the farm to take a load of cabbage.

Luke Weston Barraclough, 21, of San Mateo, the next-largest town on State Road 100 to the west (in Putnam County), was at the wheel of his Ford Ranger, a white pick-up, going west, when he collided with the rig. He was flown to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach with non-life-threatening injuries. But a news release by FHP Saturday noted that Barraclough was in critical condition.

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Frank Cooper, 69, who’s been driving trucks for 45 years, was at the wheel of his empty 2000 Peterbilt rig. He put on his turn signal as he was nearing the turn at Johnston Farms. (The signal was still blinking the entire time investigators were at the scene.) He began to make his turn, a sharp, 45-degree turn off the two-lane highway, onto a dirt road.

“I didn’t see nothing till he hit me,” Cooper said, still stunned by the wreck, about an hour after it happened. “He must’ve had the hammer down. I never seen him until I heard his horn blowing.” Then he heard and felt the smash and the rig shaking.

The truck was well into its turn, with the cab of the truck halfway through the bridge over a waterlogged creek, but the rig itself still still stretching across the westbound lane of the highway.

For unknown reasons, a Florida Highway Patrol investigator said at the scene, Barraclough did not see the truck’s turn signal, see it slow down or see it begin to make the turn–and when it did, it was too late. Barraclough swerved to the right in an attempt to miss the truck, but slid into it, driver’s side first, with about two thirds of the driver’s side of the truck ending up beneath the rig, between the front and back wheels. “He was stuck under for a little while,” the investigator said of Barraclough.

Flagler County Fire Rescue and the Palm Coast Fire Department responded, working to free Barraclough and place him on a stretcher, then load him on Flagler County Fire Flight, which landed in a cabbage field by the side of the road.

It had been raining for a stretch, Cooper, the driver of the rig, said, but it had stopped raining at the time of the collision. It was merely overcast. The Ford’s tire marks stretched back about 50 feet from the point of impact. The line of sight, from the point of impact looking east, the direction from which both trucks were coming, could follow the road for well over a mile. There was no additional traffic at the time of the collision, the highway patrol investigator said.

Neither driver was impaired, the FHP investigator said, from either alcohol or other substances. And the investigator checked Cooper’s log books: “He’s totally within his hours, so he’s not tired or driving too long,” the investigator said.

If anything, charges are pending against Barraclough, the investigator said.

The wreck was almost immediately reported to 911 at 3:35 this afternoon. The highway patrol was at the scene at 3:44. Fire Flight took off with Weston at 4:27 p.m. The truck was hauled off, after the rig itself was lifted with a crane, by John’s Towing, at just before 5 p.m., and the rig moved off the road at 5 p.m. The road re-opened shortly after.

Frank Cooper, in dark blue between the two other men, was on his way to pick up a load of cabbage. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The Ford Ranger, after it was loaded on a towing truck. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler County Fire Rescue's Fire Flight landed and took off from a cabbage field within a few feet of the wreck scene. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Nimble is the word. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The pick-up truck from the other side. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The precise scene of the crash. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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

The Ford Escort, inside. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Rescuers removed the Ranger's passenger door to ease Weston out of the truck. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

It took lifting the rig to free the Ford Ranger. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Barely a mile east of the wreck scene, on the same straight-away, a roadside memorial for a victim from another day. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

21 Responses for “Pick-Up Truck Nearly Decapitated in Rig Collision on SR100; Driver, 21, Critical”

  1. tulip says:

    Wow, God sure was looking out for that young man–what a miracle he wasn’t killed.

  2. j.O says:

    Good job “B” shift……

  3. Dixie says:


  4. jrenee says:

    How could he not notice a rig? I hope he wasn’t texting…

  5. rickg says:

    @tuplip.. If god was doing his or her job he or she would have made sure that the pickup truck driver saw the rig alot sooner.

  6. Initialjoe says:

    Glad he didn’t have life threatening injuries! Man, that truck is totalled. From the looks of it if he had a car instead of a truck, he probably would not have made it.

  7. Jerry Bybee says:

    No it was rainin!!!!

  8. palmcoaster says:

    Hope they don’t blame the victim here too.

  9. palmcoaster says:

    Did Kirt bike have reflectors or not? Even if didn’t the driver WITHOUT double alcohol level in his blood should have seeing Kirt. Where is our justice for Kirt?

    • Ben Dover says:

      yeah I`d like to know how he managed to see the first kid on the bike and not Kirt, I know if it had been me with double the level of alcohol in my system I`d of been under the jail, funny how such a big deal is made of the fisher case because her poor husband happens to work for the school board and is friends with the sheriff , or maybe Kirts father should call Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, how are them two lives any more important then this boys life, where the outrage , wheres the justice? And while I`m at it where`s the freaking sidewalks!!!!!

  10. Anna Wahl says:

    Luke works a lot of hours…please just pray that he get better fast.
    He’s really a great kid.

  11. palmcoaster says:

    My prayers are for Luke’s soon recovery!!

  12. FBsarah says:

    Poor guy works tons of hours @ searay w/my hubby, and travels pretty far for work. Shame on anyone guessing why this accident happened, just wish him well & keep him & his family in your thoughts and prayers!

    • Ben Dover says:

      well don`t worry Sea Ray will find a way to screw him , I have two crushed disks in my neck that happened there and I had my foot crushed by a fork lift , they screwed me on both them accidents , then fired me when I took off time to care for my dying sister , then denied my unemployment after I worked there 10 yrs , they cost me my marriage and my house which was taken in foreclosure , plus my ability to work anywhere else with these injuries, and they`ve done the same to many others , especially if your from up north, its a good ole boy operation

  13. palmcoaster says:

    It is hard to see from the pics. but did the trucker cut off in front of this kid’s pick up truck? Were they traveling opposite directions..?

    [They were both going west, the trucker put on his signal, slowed and made the wide turn, all within the law, according to FHP.–FL]

  14. palmcoaster says:

    Thank you FL for the update and good reporting.

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you not see a big ass truck making a turn tho?

      • Anonymous says:

        We don’t know what may have happened…it’s obvious that he didn’t just decide to ram into this truck, so something happened to cause this horrible accident. Anyone who is on here judging should be ashamed of themselves. This kid is laying in the hospital in critical condition while his family holds onto hope that he will have a full recovery. We’re pulling for you Luke.

  15. palmcoaster says:

    Does anyone know how is Luke doing? Hope a well and soon recovery.

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