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Semi Flies Off the Road near Purcell Oklahoma

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The Purcell Register is reporting that a Texas man remained in critical condition Tuesday after the semi he was driving left the interstate and landed on state Highway 74 (Grant Street) in Purcell. This is a horrible accident that shows the devastation a semi can cause in an accident. Our prayers go out to the families of those effecting by this trucking accident. I’ve posted the story below.

The accident involving a semi and car occurred at 11:02 a.m. Monday at the 94 mile marker on Interstate 35.
A 2004 Saturn, driven by Hillary Stickler, 23, of Florida, was driving north at a high rate of speed and passing other vehicles on the inside median (in the grass), Trooper Jason McAlister said.

The Saturn swerved back onto the interstate, lost control and struck the outside guard rail four times before coming to rest in the outside lane. The car was facing south. The 1999 International semi pulling a trailer, driven by Little Harris, 39, of Fort Worth, Texas, was traveling north in the outside lane.

McAlister said Harris took evasive action in order to miss the car. Harris swerved to the right striking the outside guardrail, causing the trailer to ride the concrete wall for approximately 40 feet. When the vehicle stopped, the truck and trailer fell off the bridge onto Grant. The accident closed Interstate 35’s north bound traffic until nearly 3 p.m.

Harris was taken by Air Evac Lifeteam to OU Medical Center where he was admitted with internal and external head injuries. McAlister said he was not wearing a seat belt. Stickler was transported to Purcell Municipal Hospital by Wadley’s EMS where she was treated and released.The semi was a contract hauler for the U.S. Postal Service, hauling mail.

Purcell Postmaster Bill Buchanan was called to secure the mail on the trailer. Buchanan said he secured the small amount of mail until it was off loaded to another vehicle. The front of the trailer was ruptured, but cargo seemed to be intact with minimal damage, he said. Harris worked for Dumont Trucking out of Fort Worth. Walter Dumont said Harris had been employed by him for about eight years.

The route was a dedicated contract route between Fort Worth and Oklahoma City. When the accident occurred, both lanes of northbound traffic were blocked and were diverted at the 91 mile marker through Purcell.

Some travelers also exited at the Wayne-Payne exit due to the snarl on the interstate.
McAlister said he believed the interstate was closed about four hours.

Grant Street was also closed until around 4 p.m. with City of Purcell employees diverting traffic.

“Damage to the bridge is superficial,” Oklahoma Department of Transportation Spokesman David Meuser said. “The damage to the guardrail is estimated at $10,000 to $20,000.”Assisting McAlister were troopers Brian Orr, Randall Milam, Clay Anderson, Heath Ragland, Phillip Ellyson and Dennis Dickens. Others include Purcell Fire and Police, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, city of Purcell, McClain County Sheriff’s Office and Wadley’s EMS.