Randy Mitchell Special Correspondent
Emergency crews worked furiously to free a man trapped in a demolished tractor-trailer truck Tuesday afternoon.
The wreck occurred at the intersection of State Highway 3W and County Road 1490. When emergency personnel arrived, they found 31-year-old Clayton Winnett of Tupelo trapped in an overturned semi. Winnett talked to firefighters and EMS as they worked fast to free him. The semi’s cab was crushed and upside down and Winnett was pinned between his seat, the passenger seat and the roof.
Firefighters used hydraulic cutting and prying tools to remove the door and side of the cab. They then had to remove the driver’s seat to free him. Once freed, Winnett crawled through a small opening in the rubble and onto a backboard.
He was taken by Mercy EMS in an ambulance to a landing zone several hundred yards away. Winnett was taken by Air Evac to an Oklahoma City hospital. There was no word on the extent of his injuries or his condition by press time. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Alan Fortner said Winnett’s injuries did not appear to be severe, but without knowing if Winnett had internal injuries, calling for a medical helicopter is standard procedure.
Fortner said Daniel Ray Maranell, 28, of Tecumseh, was driving a Chevrolet HHR west on State Highway 3 when he slowed for a vehicle in front of him, also westbound, which was turning left onto CR 1490. Winnett, also westbound in the semi, failed to slow and took evasive action attempting to pull onto the shoulder to avoid the Chevrolet. The semi clipped the back passenger side of the Chevrolet, causing both drivers to lose control and slide off the left side of the road.
The truck rolled onto its roof and landed upside down. Maranell was taken by Mercy EMS to Mercy Hospital Ada complaining of neck pain, but officials at the scene said his injuries were non life-threatening.
Audrey Vanlandingham, who lives next to the highway and whose home was narrowly missed by the semi crashing, was inside her house and heard the wreck.
“I heard a real loud terrible thing and I thought was a real loud clap of thunder,” she said. “I went to the door to see what it was and I saw this truck and thought, ‘Oh my God,’ so I grabbed the phone and called 911.”