Kentucky State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer Jason Freeman is investigating a coal truck wreck that occurred on Fonde Mountain, near Middlesboro, on Tuesday.
“The wreck happened about three miles north of Bell County Coal Company,” Freeman said.
According to Freeman, the wreck reportedly occurred at around 11 a.m., but wasn’t called in to police until 4:12 p.m. Kentucky State Police Trooper George Howard responded to the scene and requested the assistance of Freeman due to the wreck involving a commercial vehicle.
Freeman said the truck is owned by Lemar Trucking Company Inc., of Morris Lane in Harlan.
“The truck was loaded with coal and overturned in a curve on the mountain,” Freeman said. “The driver of the truck left the scene. I was told he left to go to the hospital for injuries he had sustained. When I checked with the local hospitals, he had never showed up there.”
Freeman said he has the name of the truck driver and will be seeking charges against him for operating a commercial vehicle with no CDL license, expired tags, no insurance and leaving the scene of an accident. Freeman also said charges are pending against the trucking company.
The legal weight limit with an extended weight limit decal and three axles on this style of truck is 94,500 pounds, according to Freeman.
Quality Towing of Middlesboro was requested at the scene to remove the truck. Because the truck was loaded, Pennington’s Wrecker Service in Harlan was called to assist.
Freeman said the road had to be closed for approximately four hours to remove the truck. He said this caused delays for travelers and coal miners getting to work at the nearby mines.
This is the second incident involving a Lemar Trucking Inc. coal truck this year. A fatal crash occurred on U.S. 119 in Varilla Curve involving an 18-wheeler coal truck and two other vehicles that claimed the lives of two people. The coal truck driver and trucking company owner have since been named in a lawsuit and the truck driver has been indicted by a Bell County Grand Jury.
According to the indictment, Anthony W. Brewer, 42, of Pennington Gap, Virginia, is indicted on three counts of leaving the scene of an accident/failure to render aid, operating a motor vehicle
on a suspended/revoked operator’s license, and commercial driver’s licensed-operating while suspended.
At the time of his arrest in March, Brewer was also served a bench warrant for court. The pay or stay warrant had an $808 pay or stay bond. Brewer’s other charges have a combined cash bond total of $550,000 and he has not posted bond to date.
Vernon Lemar of Lemar Trucking Inc., could not be reached for comment.
Reach Debbie Caldwell at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @raiders42.