Truck Jackknifes After Swerving To Miss Car Cutting Through Busy Intersection

Truck Jackknifes After Swerving To Miss Car Cutting Through Busy Intersection

(2:05 p.m.) Luckily no one was injured today when a semi truck and trailer jackknifed on Rt 3 on the north end of Columbia.  Just after 2 p.m., a semi-truck was traveling north on Rt 3 when it swerved to avoid hitting a car that cut into its path at the North Main intersection. The semi driver maneuvered to avoid hitting any vehicles and came to a safe stop in the median. 

The initial report is that a red Pontiac car was traveling southbound on Rt. 3 coming into Columbia. Witnesses report the car had a green yield light and turned left onto North Main. But the car field to yield to the northbound semi that was legally making its way through the intersection with a solid green light. The semi driver, working for General Materials of St. Louis, slammed on the brakes and turned his wheels sharply to the left, jackknifing the truck and trailer. The truck came to a quick stop in the center median. 

A minivan (with a mom and four-month old baby) along with a woman driving a four-door coupe were driving southbound on Route 3 at the time of the accident. The drivers were able to stop in time and avoid hitting the truck. "The semi-driver is a rock star for sacrificing his truck to avoid hitting oncoming traffic," said a witness. 

When the truck jackknifed, the trailer section ruptured one of the underbelly diesel tanks. Fuel was soon leaking into the grass median. Columbia firefighters worked to control the spill. In addition, R & M Fuel arrived at the scene with an empty transport truck. They agreed to siphon out the remaining fuel in the underbelly tank. This greatly prevented a more hazardous situation. 

 The driver of the Pontiac did not stop and drove away from the scene. Anyone with information or who witnessed the accident, including the whereabouts of the red Pontiac, is asked to contact the Columbia Police Department. 

All lanes of traffic were reopened by 3:45 p.m.

Columbia volunteer firefighters work to contain leaking diesel fuel following Tuesday's accident at Rt. 3 and North Main on the north end of Columbia.