Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

August 21, 2008

Fatal accident

LOWNDES COUNTY — Robert Arnold, 45, of Broxton, Ga., a driver for Dmh Trucking Co. in Douglas, died Thursday morning as a result of an accident on Lakeland Highway, which occurred around 8:45 Thursday morning, according to Trooper Brian Gay of the Georgia State Patrol.

The driver was heading southbound towards Valdosta, and attempted to pass a Lowndes County Public Works road grader driven by Willie Lane, according to Lowndes County Public Information Officer Paige Dukes. Lane had stopped the grader and was attempting to turn onto Waters Road when the log truck attempted to pass on the left side and struck the grader, according to Gay. He said the truck flipped on its side, spilling logs, which trapped the driver in the cab of the truck, and the truck caught on fire.

Despite being injured, Lane and other citizens attempted to hook the grader up to the front of the truck to pull the cab from under the load of logs but were unsuccessful due to the size and weight of the truck and the heat of the fire. Arnold apparently died in the fire, according to Gay.

Dukes said a distraught Lane was transported to South Georgia Medical Center and underwent medical treatment, but is not seriously injured and was expected to be released later today.

“He is one of several brothers who have made our Public Works Department their career. He is a very experienced grader and even though the accident was not his fault, he is very upset,” Dukes said.

According to Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk, an AT&T; truck was parked nearby and the worker tried to help as well. “He described the accident impact as an explosion, so the truck’s fuel tank apparently ruptured when it hit the grader.”

Officials at Dmh Trucking in Douglas confirmed that the truck was one of theirs.

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