Safety & Compliance

Driver Passes Out From Fumes, Loses Control of Rig

June 30, 2000

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A truck driver apparently lost consciousness from inhaling fumes before his 18-wheeler veered off an interstate, crashing through a fence and flipping on its side.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that the accident occurred on I-10 near Slidell, La. Raymond Curtis, 41, of Labadieville, escaped serious injury, and no one else was reported injured.
According to a doctor who stopped to help Curtis, the last thing the driver remembered was breathing in fumes. He then lost consciousness just before going off the road.
Curtis' westbound Pocahontas Foods semi went off I-10 knocking down a 40-foot section of a fence separating the interstate from a frontage road. The truck left a 200-foot trail of pine branches and twisted metal along the frontage road before it swerved back toward the interstate, crashed through the fence again and flipped on its side, partly blocking the frontage road.
Curtis was conscious after the crash, and a couple of motorists helped him climb through the tractor's shattered windshield. He then sat near his overturned truck with a towel to his head, awaiting an ambulance. Curtis was later cited for careless driving.
The 18-wheeler is owned by First Commercial Corp, of Charlotte, N.C., and was empty of cargo.

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