By JULIA ROBERTS GOAD
Two juveniles and the driver of a tractor-trailer escaped serious injury Monday afternoon after a collision near Mingo Central High School.
According to West Virginia State Police Trooper J.J. Dean, a male juvenile and his female passenger had left the high school and were traveling south on Rt. 52 in a Ford F-150 pickup truck.
The pickup veered into the path of a loaded coal truck owned by BJJR Transport, driven by Michael Ferguson, 42, of Ft. Gay.
Ferguson apparently tried to avoid colliding with the pickup, but the Ford hit the coal truck, striking the fuel tank of the tractor-trailer. The coal truck overturned, spilling its load, approximately 30 tons of coal, over the highway.
It is unknown what caused the pickup truck to veer into the path of the tractor-trailer
Andy Joseph was driving behind the pickup truck.
“The coal truck driver did everything he could, but that pickup just kept going,” Joseph said. “He was avoiding it, but he really didn’t have any choice.”
Dean said the driver of the Ford and his passenger were transported to Logan Medical Center by Stat Ambulance Service. Their injuries did not appear life threatening.
Ferguson was taken to Williamson Memorial Hospital with minor injuries also.
All victims in the crash were wearing seat-belts, Dean said. He added the airbags in the Ford F-150 did not deploy, for some unknown reason.
The driver of the pickup truck was cited for failure to maintain control of the vehicle and crossing left of center. Speed may have been a factor in the collision, Dean said.
Both lanes of Rt. 52 were closed for several hours as the coal and wrecked vehicles were removed.
The accident remains under investigation by Dean, assisted by Sgt. J.C. Dotson, both of the Williamson detachment.