71st Street In Tulsa Reopened After Dump Truck Veers Off Highway 169

Friday, September 24th 2010, 4:03 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims and NewsOn6.com

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- All lanes of 71st Street South under U.S. Highway 169 were reopened Friday afternoon after a dump truck drove off 169 and crashed onto 71st Street below. 

Tulsa Police had closed all eastbound and westbound lanes under 169 immediately after the crash. 

Police say the dump truck was northbound on 169 when it encountered traffic that had slowed for an earlier fender bender near 61st Street. Police say the driver couldn't slow down in time and veered into and eventually over the guardrail.

EMSA transported the driver of the dump truck to a Tulsa hospital. That person, identified as a 53-year-old male, is listed in fair condition, according to EMSA.

Kelly Jackson couldn't see the traffic backed up above her on Highway 169. She didn't hear the squeal of the tires as a dump truck driver tried frantically to stop.

But she did feel the impact, when it all came crashing down.

"All of a sudden I heard this loud noise and the concrete fell all on top of my car and saw the truck coming off 169," said Kelly Jackson.

Jackson was too shaken up to appear on camera, but she did relay the terrifying tale.

"I thought it was going to fall on top of me," Jackson said.

Police say there were a couple of accidents on Highway 169 that stopped traffic ahead of the dump truck driver.

"Obviously he tried to stop and he chose hitting the wall to bleed off the speed instead of hitting the cars, which probably prevented some serious injuries there," said Sgt. Robert Rohloff, Tulsa Police.

The truck gouged two chunks out of the barrier before toppling over it, coming to a rest on the embankment beneath the overpass. 

Chunks of concrete did rain down on 71st Street, damaging at least four cars, including Jackson's SUV. 

Debris dented the hood, cracked the windshield and almost punched right through, right in front of Jackson's face.

"Landed right beside my car," Jackson said. "I'm just so glad it didn't land on top of my car."

Her nearly two-year-old son, Kale, was in the back seat.

"He thought it was funny. He saw all of the glass shattering and he thought it was funny. So I just thank God that we're ok," said Jackson.

The dump truck driver was taken to the hospital, but he's expected to be fine. 

Jackson says she can hardly believe they all walked away from what could have been a catastrophic crash.