Trucker falls asleep, crashes into tow truck, disabled motorhome on I-95 in South Carolina

State - Regional

COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Emergency crews in Colleton County said a tow truck operator could have been killed when a tractor-trailer crashed into his truck and a disabled motorhome late Friday night on Interstate 95.

The driver was called in from Ridgeland to remove a disabled motorhome from the breakdown lane near mile marker 45 just after 11:30 p.m.

“The tow truck operator was preparing to hook up to the motorhome when a southbound tractor-trailer entered the breakdown lane, striking the motorhome and then the wrecker,” said officials with Colleton County Fire Rescue.

A family of three, which included an infant, had just left the scene about 15 minutes before the crash.

The motorhome overturned and was forced into the woods off the right shoulder. The tractor-trailer and the wrecker, which were badly damaged, were pushed into the wooded median.

“When he realized the collision was imminent, the tow truck operator dove to the passenger side of the vehicle, a move that spared his life,” officials said.

The driver’s side of the cab was crushed. The tow truck operator had multiple injuries, but they were not life-threatening.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured. He told authorities that he had fallen asleep before the crash.

Emergency crews said the interstate was littered with debris, which has blocked both southbound lanes.

The motorhome was leaking propane and fuel, as well as the tractor-trailer that received breaches in the saddle tanks spilling diesel fuel on the highway and into the median.

Officials said it took several hours to clean up the crash site. Southbound traffic was down to one lane for about five hours.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

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