Tractor-trailer hits police car, van

Published 12:44 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A tractor-trailer ran into a Columbus Police Department Crown Victoria early Monday, Dec. 5 along I-26. The tractor-trailer driver had a gear-shifting problem and rolled backwards. The tractor-trailer also hit a van carrying eight passengers. No injuries were reported. (photo submitted by the Columbus Police Department)

A jackknifed tractor-trailer ran into a Columbus police car and a passenger van early Monday, Dec. 5 along I-26.

Around 2:42 a.m., the Columbus police and fire departments were called to assist with a tractor-trailer that, while heading west along I-26 at the bottom portion of the Saluda grade area, had a problem shifting gears, traveled backwards and jackknifed, blocking the two lanes of traffic. No collisions occurred at this point.

A wrecker pulled the tractor-trailer back in line and around 4:45 a.m. the truck attempted to travel back up the grade, going westbound, when the driver reportedly had another gear-shifting problem, causing the tractor trailer to again roll backwards in the westbound lane, according to police reports.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The tractor-trailer struck an occupied Columbus police car at significant speed and pushed it into the travel lane, where both the patrol car and the trailer portion of the tractor-trailer struck a passenger van carrying eight occupants, according to Columbus Police Chief Chris Beddingfield.

There were no injuries. The police officer was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital as a precautionary measure, where he was treated and released.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol investigated the crash and charged the driver, Snyder Dubose, with careless and reckless driving, according to reports.

“We were extremely lucky there were no major injuries,” Beddingfield said. “We can replace vehicles, but not people.”

The damaged Columbus police car was a 2004 Crown Victoria. The insurance adjuster report has not yet been received, but officials said they expect it will say the vehicle is totaled.