A tractor-trailer accident Friday afternoon caused heavy damage and minor injuries, while blocking a major local highway.
Roman Dubinschi, 21, was traveling to Hope Mills for Overnight Cargo Corp., on Interstate 74-East. Due to circumstances still under investigation, he was forced to make a sharp turn to the left, losing control of his vehicle as it entered the grass, raced onto the guardrail and moved onto the cement railing of the I-74 bridge. Unstoppable, the tractor-trailer raced over the bridge, plunging toward U.S. 601.
Concurrently, David Prevette, 30, was driving north on U.S. 601, when he saw the tractor-trailer crashing in front of him. He slammed on his breaks, skidding toward the devastation. Prevette’s car hit the tractor-trailer, the impact knocking his vehicle to the right and covering it with motor oil.
Surry County Emergency Services was informed of the collision at 4:06 p.m. Station 78 of White Plains Voluntary Fire Department responded to the scene, with assistance from Pine Ridge Voluntary Fire Department, Franklin Voluntary Fire Department, the Fire Marshal’s Office, Mount Airy Rescue Squad, Surry EMS and Surry County Hazmat.
Responders took Dubinschi to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, as Prevette went to Northern Hospital Of Surry County.
For 45 minutes to an hour, rescue workers shut down I-74 East to clean the debris, fuel and oil off the interstate bridge.
Below the bridge, workers closed U.S. 601 into Mount Airy. The tractor-trailer’s former contents, cans of Equate-brand weight loss shakes, littered the area.
At 6:20 p.m., the highway was still blocked from the intersection to the first crossover. However, workers created a diversion lane on the opposite side of the highway.
“Traffic is moving pretty freely right now,” Surry County EMS Director John Shelton said at that time.
Responders worked to clean the area until late into the night, discovering the cleanup to be larger than anticipated.
“I thought it would be nine o’clock, but it’s not anywhere near nine o’clock now,” said Trooper Bryan Baker at about 8:30 p.m. “We may have the road open in another hour-and-a-half. Or maybe by 10:30 tonight.”
He noted Prevette had returned to the scene, without any injuries.
As for Dubinschi, Baker said he was okay as well.
“The driver is injured but not seriously injured,” he said. “I do not know what kind of condition he is in after he being transported to Baptist. But I don’t think he has life-threatening injuries. And that is just very lucky.
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s beat up and scratched up. But he should be tickled.”
Second collision occurs on I-74
At about 9:25 p.m., emergency services received a call that a vehicle was going west in the east-bound lane, toward I-74 and U.S. 601. According to Shelton, troopers were dispatched from the scene of the earlier I-74 accident. Before they could reach the vehicle, however, a collision happened nearby.
The victim had slowed down his vehicle to avoid the one going in the wrong direction. Suddenly, a pickup truck, coming at a higher speed, slammed into the victim’s rear-end.
White Plains Voluntary Fire Department, Surry EMS and Mount Airy Rescue Squad responded to the scene, as did Trooper Brent Jones.
The pickup’s driver was placed under arrest by Highway Patrol, charged with being under the influence. Shelton noted the driver already had warrants out for his arrest, but the name of the driver was unavailable Friday night.
Meanwhile, the victim, in pain, was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. His name was also unavailable.
Reach Josh Armstrong at 719-1921 or firstname.lastname@example.org.