Semi veers off 287, hits parked cars

By Erika Pedroza | Published Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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TRAPPED DRIVER – Medics extricate the driver of an 18-wheeler, who became trapped in the cab of his truck after driving off of U.S. 287, across the service road and into the Panda Express parking lot, where the truck jackknifed and landed on its side. He was transported to Texas Health Fort Worth Hospital via helicopter for head injuries. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The driver of an 18-wheeler was flown to a Metroplex hospital for serious injuries after plowing through the Panda Express parking lot in Decatur at around 5 Tuesday afternoon.

Witnesses say the truck ran off of U.S. 287, down the steep embankment, across the service road and split two trees before jackknifing and hitting a yellow Chevrolet Cobalt parked at Panda Express, causing a domino effect. The Cobalt hit a white Pontiac Sunfire parked next to it, which hit a Dodge pickup.

An occupant of the Cobalt was transported to Wise Regional Health System, but her injuries did not appear life-threatening.

Krisha Marker of Odessa was entering the highway from the U.S. 380 ramp when she noticed the 18-wheeler swerving. She said she slowed down and watched it drive off the highway.

The cab landed on its side, trapping the driver, whose name has not yet been released. Bystanders began prying off fiberglass pieces of the cab until first responders arrived. He was extricated within the hour.

The driver was transported by helicopter to Texas Health Fort Worth Hospital, formerly known as Harris Hospital, with head injuries. His name had not been released as of press time Tuesday.

Alvord and Bridgeport fire departments also responded or assisted, in addition to Decatur Police, DPS troopers and Sheriff’s deputies.

TUESDAY WRECK – Medics load the driver of an 18-wheeler into an ambulance to be transported to Wise Regional Health System, from where he was flown to Texas Health Fort Worth Hospital. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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