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Runaway truck hurls logs onto highway crew, killing 2, injuring 19

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Logs fly off truck, pinning Arkansas construction workers, killing 2
"Like sitting ducks," Arkansas construction workers killed by logs from runaway truck

Logs flew from the bed of an out-of-control truck in Arkansas, striking nearby construction workers, killing two and injuring at least 19 others.  

Authorities said the brakes may have failed on the downhill-traveling semi-truck, whose driver was not arrested in relation to the Monday accident. 

A preliminary report released Tuesday afternoon said the 1999 Peterbilt trailer suffered a blowout on the left rear tire, causing a load shift. The trailer flipped onto its side, sending logs right toward a construction crew.

The driver, 39-year-old Jerry Hickman, suffered minor injuries and was being held in Van Buren County Jail on an unrelated matter. Many of the workers suffered serious injuries. They had been working on a project to widen a bridge on U.S. Highway 65 in Clinton, Ark.

Logs also hit a passing car and two parked cars.

Robert Keith Moore, 51, died at the scene. Ricardo Trochez, 40, died after reaching Ozark Health Medical Center in Clinton. A Facebook profile described Trochez as a civil engineer at Mobley Contractors, which had been working on the bridge. The company said Moore was not an employee.

"They were like sitting ducks on the bridge," Van Buren County Sheriff Scott Bradley told the Associated Press. "There was nowhere for them to run to get away from the logs."

"We had people laying under logs, we had people that were laying all over the bridge," Bradley told reporters. "It was a bad, really bad accident."

The Arkansas State Police are continuing the investigation.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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