Trucker catches fire during four-rig crash in Atlanta

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 3/17/2014

A fiery chain-reaction crash involving four tractor-trailers left one trucker hospitalized last week, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

The crash occurred Thursday, March 13, while the truckers were slowing down to approach a weigh station near the Lee Road exit on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 20 in Douglas County.

According to reports, the initial crash occurred when a truck driven by Alan Harrison, 59, of Lawrenceville, collided with the back of another truck that was in the far right lane preparing to exit towards the weigh station. A third and fourth tractor trailer then hit the backs of the trailers of the trucks in front of them.

Harrison had to be pulled to safety, and his clothing was on fire, according to the report.

Sgt. Keith Smalley, field operations sergeant with the state patrol’s motor carrier compliance division, said traffic was slowing down at the weigh station, but was not actually blocked due to a line of trucks waiting to enter.

“According to state patrol investigating agency, they were actually moving at about a 25 to 30 mile-per-hour pace,” he said.

Smalley said road construction in the area has disabled the electronic warning that notifies drivers when the weigh station is full, but a manual warning system is still in place.

“People in the tower, the civilians and law enforcement officers are actually visually watching the ramp, as (trucks) come up,” he said. “When they start to stack up, we’ll flip the switches to keep them on the bypass and initiate the signs on the interstate.”

Harrison was listed in serious but stable condition. No charges have been filed, but the wreck remains under investigation.

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