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Driver lodges van under truck, seriously injured

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Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A man was seriously injured Wednesday morning when his van ran underneath an 18-wheeler on U.S. 287 about three miles north of Decatur.

Both vehicles were traveling southbound on 287 about 11:15 a.m. when the van, driven by Austin Tolmay, 24, of Carrollton, hit the back of the truck for unknown reasons, according to DPS Trooper Greg Reyero. ┬áThe van lodged underneath the truck’s trailer and was drug for 1/4- to 1/2-mile before the truck stopped. The accident occurred near County Road 1170.

Tolmay was extricated from the van and flown by Life Team to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth with “various injuries.” The driver of the truck, Glenn Brantley of California was not injured.

Tolmay had no passengers, but he was carrying animals, including fish, gerbils and hamsters. Paramedics moved the creatures from the wrecked van to other vehicles to keep them cool, but none of them appeared to be injured. They were picked up by Wise County Animal Control.