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Trucker severely injured after driving off I-30 overpass onto Hazel

By Jesse Evans, 09/7/13 5:27 PM
Photo by Jesse Evans

Photo by Jesse Evans

A Michigan man was severely injured in a single vehicle crash that sent him to the hospital and blocked off North Hazel Street at the I-30 overpass for five hours.

Witnesses say that they were traveling west on I-30 behind the blue International semi, which belongs to ALTL Inc. out of Hudsonville, Michigan, when it drifted left in the median before disappearing from view. According to the witnesses, the driver never hit his brakes. The truck apparently cleared the embankment and crashed into Hazel Street, taking large chunks out of the pavement before crashing through the guardrail and into the opposite embankment. No vehicles were in his path as he crashed.

According to family members, the driver’s name is Kevin Nelson of Hudsonville, Michigan. According to WOOD TV in Grand Rapids, Mighigan, a friend of the Nelson family was told an apparent medical condition led to Mr. Nelson driving off of the road.

Paramedics and EMTs from Pafford EMS climbed into the heavily damaged truck and began assessing the driver’s condition. Access had to be made by a section of the steep embankment that was drenched in oil from the trucks motor. Witnesses stopped and assisted EMS by holding a strap so that they could get down the slick surface to the truck safely.

EMS, firefighters from the Hope Fire Department and individuals who had stopped at the scene worked together to get the driver out of the truck and up the embankment to the grass in the median. They loaded him into the back of a truck and drove him down to the ambulances. Pafford transported him to a cul-de-sac across from Big Jake’s where he was transferred to a LifeNet helicopter and flown to UAMS in Little Rock.

Officers with the Hope Police Department diverted traffic and assisted Trooper Darren Henley of the Arkansas State Police with the investigation of the crash.