Two wrecks on I-20 send three to hospital - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Two wrecks on I-20 send three to hospital

By Jamey Boyum.

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) – Three people were sent to the hospital Monday morning in two wrecks on I-20 within a mile of each other.

The accidents happened around 10:45, west of the Hwy. 271 exit ramp. An 18-wheeler overturned in the first accident. Troopers say that the second wreck was a direct result of the first.

A pick-up was crushed between a dump truck and an 18-wheeler with a man trapped inside. EMT Logan Chaney cut off the truck's roof and then worked to free him.

"We used the jaws of life, the ram tool and the cutters and spreaders. We had two jaw units going," says Chaney.

A dump truck that was carrying seventeen tons of asphalt allegedly didn't see the traffic stopped from the first wreck and plowed into six vehicles.

About a mile from the first accident, the driver of the big rig lost control and flipped, blocking I-20 West and landing him in a hospital. Many were stuck in between the accidents, like Melanie Huddleston from Mississippi.

"All that I remember in the rear view of my mirror was seeing the truck go up in the air because he ramped up on the side," says Huddleston.

Huddleston discovered the young man in the pick-up and called his mother for him, and stayed with him until help arrived.

"I was just trying to get him to calm down. I said ‘Squeeze my hand if you're in pain … squeeze it.' I said ‘We're going to get you some help. We're going to get you some help,'" adds Huddleston.

EMTs managed to free the man in about half an hour. He was then flown to the hospital. Parts of I-20 were shut down for four hours while the scene was cleared. The driver of the dump truck was ticked for failing to control speed.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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