Richard Tallent of Tallent Lumber Co. miraculously sustained only minor injuries shortly after noon on Thursday, March 30 when the Sterling flat-bed truck loaded with lumber he was driving left the road. overturned and crashed into a tree.
Mr. Tallent said that the brakes failed on the truck as he started descending the hill at the top of Wolf Mountain above the slide area, and by the time he reached the bottom of the steep incline, the truck was traveling in excess of 70 miles per hour, and he could not negoiate the curves at the bottom of the grade.
The truck left the road on the left side of the road, crashed through the guard rail and some trees, overturning and coming to rest on its driver’s side against a large tree.
The top of the cab was crushed to the height of the dashbuard, and Mr. Tallent was trapped inside with both legs pinned for about an hour before technicians with the Fentress County Rescue Squad and Ambulance Service could extricate him from the twisted wreckage.
Mr. Tallent remained conscious and alert and was in communication with the rescue personnel throughout the whole ordeal.
After being freed from the wreckage, which required the wreckage having to be literally cut from around him, he was transported to Tennova Healthcare and then airlifted to U-T Hospital in Knoxville to be checked out, but by a miracle had sustained no broken bones in the accident, and was released late Thursday evening.
The curve where the accident occurred, at the 25 mile marker on Highway 127, has locally come to be known as “dead man’s curve,” due to the high number of accidents, including multiple fatalities, which have occurred there.
The Sterling truck was completely demolished in the accident.
Traffic through the area was curtailed for several hours to complete the investigation and cleanup.
Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.