Semi spills lumber on U.S. 50

LUBECK – A towing incident led to a mess in the ditch along westbound U.S. 50 in Wood County Monday afternoon, officials said.

Pifer’s Towing and Service Center responded to a call about a tractor-trailer disabled in the westbound lanes on the side of the road near the West Virginia 68 overpass of U.S. 50 on Monday afternoon.

Upon attempting to tow the tractor-trailer around 4 p.m., an equipment failure on the disabled tractor-trailer caused the vehicle to tip onto its passenger’s side, said Lawrence Pifer with Pifer’s Towing and Service Center.

The tractor-trailer was already on the berm beside the right-hand lane, and it tipped toward the hillside and away from the road. It did not impede traffic along U.S. 50 until attempts were made to return it to its wheels.

The tractor-trailer had the identifying marks of C.T. Transportation LLC., from Savannah, Ga. The front windshield was shattered outward, and the cab’s contents were scattered on the roadside.

The trailer had a Georgia license plate for a permanent trailer.

The driver’s name was unknown Monday evening. The incident was not reported as a wreck, said Sgt. B.A. Snodgrass with the West Virginia State Police.

Because it was not a wreck, there was no report to file and the driver’s name was not taken, Snodgrass said. The driver was taken to a nearby hotel, Snodgrass said.

Where the tractor-trailer was coming from and where it was heading to were unknown Monday afternoon.

The tractor-trailer’s load of processed lumber spilled from its flat-bed truck into the ditch, snapping some of the load straps and exposing the lumber from its protective tarp.

It took the Pifer’s crew several hours to return the vehicle to its wheels, having to wait for the arrival of a fork-lift and a replacement tractor-trailer from the Pifer’s fleet. The tractor-trailer was righted around 6:45 p.m., and Pifer’s began transferring its load to the replacement tractor-trailer.

“We’re trying to save the load before the rain hits,” Pifer said. “This will be an insurance matter.”

U.S. 50 was temporarily shut down by the West Virginia State Police while the tractor-trailer was shifted away from its spilled load. The right lane was closed for more than an hour while Pifer’s worked to recover the spilled lumber.