TFC Jay Thomas
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 1, Mayfield
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Injury Crash on Purchase Parkway in Graves County
Date of News Release: 08/05/2006
A northbound semi tractor, hauling a 109 foot long 90,000 pound section of wind turbine support, crashed near the 26 mile marker of the Purchase Parkway. The oversized vehicle, operated by Adolfo Salazar of Gainesville Texas, had just crossed a bridge when it appears metal welds on the tow dolly (strapped to the underside of the windmill support) failed. This caused the articulated tow dolly to steer the rear of the windmill support off the right shoulder of the roadway, where it separated. The momentum of the windmill support, now rolling free diagonally across the Parkway, caused the Perterbilt semi-tractor to overturn. The weight of the rolling support lifted the semi-tractor trailer off the roadway and into the air. The semi-tractor then slammed back down onto the roadway, and was crushed by the weight of the metal structure, which rolled over onto it. Operator Salazar was partially ejected out the front of the cab, suffering severe head trauma and injuries to one hand. One northbound lane was shut down while crews worked to remove the vehicle. The wind turbine support will likely be left in place until sizeable cranes can be brought to the scene for removal.