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THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2007
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Family members on Lawrence County 150 after hearing the news of Jeremiah Johnson's death. Johnson died after an accident dislodged logs carried by a truck.
Daily photo by Emily Saunders
Family members on Lawrence County 150 after hearing the news of Jeremiah Johnson's death. Johnson died after an accident dislodged logs carried by a truck.

Log truck wreck claims 1
Volunteer firefighter killed
when truck loses its load

By Kristen Bishop and Seth Burkett
kbishop@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

TOWN CREEK — After colliding with a dump truck, a logging truck tipped over and lost its load Wednesday, killing a volunteer firefighter.

A logging truck overturned and lost its load when it came around a corner on Lawrence County Road 150 just before the Alabama 101 intersection.
Daily photo by Emily Saunders
A logging truck overturned and lost its load when it came around a corner on Lawrence County Road 150 just before the Alabama 101 intersection.
Jeremiah Johnson, 23, of Anderson appeared to have died of blunt force trauma caused by logs crashing into the driver side front window of his pickup, said Lawrence County Coroner Micah Coffey.

The driver of the logging truck, whose name had not been released late Wednesday, was injured.

The wreck took place on a bend in Lawrence County 150, near Town Creek, at 3:15 p.m.

Travelling south, about a half-mile south of The Dam Store, the logging truck apparently crossed the yellow lines into oncoming traffic, Coffey said.

The log truck sideswiped a northbound dump truck driven by Daniel Holt of Rogersville.

A second vehicle heading north behind the dump truck was able to swerve and miss the logging truck, Coffey said.

About that time, the logging truck tipped its load, sending logs flying into the ditch and road and at Johnson's vehicle, which swerved into the ditch on the northbound side, he said.

Family members gathered at the scene, crying and comforting each other.

Nicole Brigner, a relative, said Johnson was always looking for ways to help people.

"He was a volunteer firefighter and he used to drive an ambulance for Lexington," she said. "He'd give you the shirt off his back."

Johnson, a volunteer firefighter with the Anderson Volunteer Fire Department for five years, was on his way home from working at International Paper.

The logging truck fell onto its driver side, but the driver was able to get out without assistance and was free when emergency personnel arrived, firefighters said.

An ambulance took him to Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Florence.

He apparently suffered lacerations to his arms.

Firefighters hosed down the log truck, which was leaking fuel, to keep the gasoline from catching fire. There were no flames or smoke when they arrived.

Town Creek and Courtland firefighters worked until shortly after 7 p.m. to extricate Johnson's body from the pickup, and by 9:30 p.m., troopers had cleared the scene and reopened the road.

Elkins Funeral Home in Center Star will announce arrangements for Johnson.

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