Authorities are working to learn the cause of a multivehicle crash in northwest Atlanta that sent a dump truck over a retaining wall before it burst into flames.
The accident at the intersection of West Marietta Street and Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard involved seven to eight vehicles, according to Atlanta fire officials. Both the dump truck and another car caught on fire.
“We are glad that everyone is OK with some minor injuries, with all the damage that was caused here this morning,” Atlanta fire Sgt. Cortez Stafford told AJC.com.
Two fire engines and Grady Memorial Hospital EMS were called to the scene. The fire was put out and spilled diesel fuel was cleaned up by 10 a.m, but the intersection remained shut down while police conducted a traffic investigation.
Stafford said crews knew they had something big when they pulled out of their station and saw a huge cloud of smoke.
“They discovered a chaotic scene with cars strewn across Marietta Street, in front of 820 Marietta Street and here along West Marietta and Joseph E. Lowery,” he said. “Fortunately, very luckily, the driver was able to escape the dump truck before it was fully engulfed in flames.”
Authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash, but Stafford said it appears the driver of the dump truck was trying to avoid a collision. The truck left the roadway, went through a parking lot and struck a parked car and another vehicle.
“It went over a 6-foot retaining wall and hit a tree, and actually a fire hydrant as well,” he said. “So the hydrant that we needed to use to extinguish the fire was almost under the dump truck.”
The second fire engine was called in to bring water.
Katreina Thomas said the truck landed on her Lexus sedan, not far from her roof. She didn’t know what was happening, but she knew she needed to get out fast.
“It was a big boom, and then you saw the truck flying through the air and it landed on my car,” Thomas said. “I unfastened my seatbelt and just took off running.”
She said she saw the truck leaking fuel and heard a tank pop before it went up in flames. The driver got out just in time.
“The dump truck driver is in good spirits and he’s happy to be OK with a few minor scrapes and injuries,” Stafford said.
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