By Hayley M. Cook
SOUTH WILLIAMSON, Ky. – The sign at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant in South Williamson, Kentucky, was destroyed Saturday morning when a driver ran into it with his truck.
Jimmy Elkins totaled his 2005 Chevy four-door truck and was thrown from the vehicle in a wreck that Belfry Volunteer Fire Department Chief Nee Jackson says could have been devastating if it had occurred during the day.
Jackson said the call came in around 2:30 a.m. and his crew was on the scene in less than four minutes. He said two trucks and 11 men responded to the wreck.
According to Jackson, the truck had flipped several times and hit the sign while traveling backward. The driver reportedly was ejected in the process before the truck caught fire.
An individual passing by stopped in an attempt to put the blaze out with a fire extinguisher, and Jackson said that individual emptied his entire fire extinguisher in the process. The BVFD used an attack line to put the fire out completely.
Jackson, who said it was “a wild-looking wreck scene,” said the collision resulted in the collapse of the upper part of the Wendy’s sign and caused lots of debris to litter the surrounding area.
“It was a very traumatic wreck,” said Jackson. “Flying debris put holes in the windows at Wendy’s and the debris scattered all the way down to Taco Bell and CVS. No one else was injured, but if it had occurred at another time during the day, it could have been a very bad situation.”
Jackson said the debris was immediately cleaned and placed in a designated location to keep the area safe for drivers. It reportedly took more than three hours to clean up the remains of the sign.
Jackson said the truck had leaked oil and transmission fluid, therefore creating an unsafe scene. The fire department put down absorbents to take care of the fluids but, due to the amount of leakage, the Kentucky Department of Highways was called for sand, which was spread over the affected area.
According to Jackson, Elkins could not verbally communicate after the wreck to communicate what his physical injuries were. The fire department tended to Jackson until help arrived.
Elkins was taken to Pikeville Medical Center from Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital. There was no word as of Monday afternoon on the state of his injuries or what caused him to lose control of his vehicle.
Kentucky State Police Trooper Derek Welch said Monday afternoon that the investigation is continuing.