Janesville38.9°

Semitrailer truck crash closes Highway 81 for two hours Friday

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staff, Gazette
February 16, 2013

— The truck accident on Highway 81 west of Beloit early Friday morning would have made great footage for an action movie.

A Rock County Sheriff’s Office news release describes how the semitrailer truck, hauling liquid carbon dioxide, ended up on its side in a field in the early morning darkness.

The 2010 Freightliner was eastbound on 81 when the driver failed to negotiate a slight curve and crossed the westbound lane, according to the news release.

The truck continued on the north shoulder until it hit the culvert at Olson Road. The impact launched the massive truck into the air.

It crashed down onto Olson Road and rolled onto its passenger side. But it didn’t stop there.

It slid about the length of a football field, according to the news release. As it did, it took down several small trees and a power pole.

The scene was soon lighted by the flashing lights of police, fire and medical units from the town of Beloit and Orfordville as well as sheriff’s deputies.

They found the driver trapped in the cab with what were described as serious injuries. Rescue workers worked about 75 minutes to free him.

Driver Brian Lamont, 33, of Monroe, was taken to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville, which would not release information about him Friday afternoon.

Not good for filmmakers but great for the rest of us was the fact that the tank did not leak any of the 42,360 pounds of liquid carbon dioxide.

Exposure to the liquid or vapor can cause frostbite. Inhaling the substance as it turns into a gas can cause dizziness, headaches, stinging of the nose and throat, vomiting, unconsciousness and even death from lack of oxygen.

The highway was closed for about two hours while emergency crews worked on scene. No citations were issued right away, but the accident remains under investigation.



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