BY MELANIE BUCK –
A semi-truck rollover caused an all-day traffic jam in South Polk County on Thursday, December 8, a day after the actual accident. Grannis Police Chief Michael Selinas explained that around 10 p.m. Wednesday night, December 7, the 18-wheeler’s tires lost contact with the asphalt and drove into a ditch, near Lighthouse Café north of Wickes, and rolled onto its side, loosing a full load of lumber.
A husband and wife were inside the cab of the truck when the accident occurred and both were wearing seatbelts. The husband was driving and was uninjured. His wife was pinned in the cab between the seat and the passenger door for some time before emergency responders were able to pull her out through the windshield. Her foot was injured and she was transported to Mena Regional Health System where she was treated and released.
As the lumber scattered across the landscape, it was determined that traffic would have to be shut down to reload it onto another trailer. After making sure the roadway was cleared for the night, guards were posted to watch the lumber overnight and cleanup was scheduled for Thursday morning.
In order to load the lumber in the precarious portion of Highway 71, traffic was shut down for 12 minutes at a time, causing the cleanup to take near six hours, and backing traffic up until Thursday afternoon.
Two officers from Grannis PD, two Polk County deputies, and a state trooper worked the initial accident, while Grannis PD took over controlling traffic during cleanup efforts.