Tanker flips, gas leak averted; driver airlifted
BERRYVILLE -- A tractor-trailer driver was injured when his gasoline-filled tanker overturned on Highway 21 late Thursday morning.
The accident occurred around 11 a.m. near County Road 705.
As of press time, the Arkansas Highway Patrol had not released the driver's name, and his condition was not known. However, he had been airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield Thursday afternoon after originally being taken by ambulance to Berryville's hospital.
By 11:30 Thursday, at least 20 officers and firefighters were on the scene of the wreck. They milled around the crumpled remains of the tanker, which was wedged against a stand of trees at the bottom of the highway embankment.
They urged bystanders to stay at a safe distance, fearing a possible explosion after the gasoline was initially thought to be leaking slowly. A second tanker soon arrived to siphon off the wrecked tanker's gasoline load.
Authorities closed the northbound lane of the highway for several hundred yards, directing cars around the wreck and bringing traffic to a crawl.
Bobby Edens, who stood nearby, was driving directly behind the truck when the accident occurred. He said he and another man had pulled the driver from the cab before paramedics arrived.
The cause of the accident is not clear. Edens said the driver told him he thought something had come loose in the front of the tanker.
The accident occurred at a curve in the road where local residents say many crashes have occurred over the years.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this report included an inaccurate quote from Edens regarding what he thought caused the accident. Edens says that he did not tell Carroll County News that the driver was going too fast. Carroll County News apologizes for the misunderstanding.