fiery crash

Blackshear and PC Fire Departments responded to a blaze sparked by a wreck Friday at Lairsey’s intersection, and worked quickly to extinguish the diesel fire and clean up the fuel spill.        – Photo courtesy of Merlene Crosby and Chuck Yeargin

Wreck sparked explosion, diesel fire

A fiery crash at Lairsey’s Intersection shut down both lanes of travel on U.S. Highway 84 Friday afternoon at approximately 3:45 p.m., but minimal injuries were sustained in the wreck and no one was transported to the hospital for treatment.

Firefighters reportedly battled multiples fires when first dispatched to the incident, but had the blaze under control within 15 minutes of the alarm and nine minutes after arriving on scene. The blaze damaged two traffic signals, a mailbox and machinery on a trailer hitched to one of the vehicles.

Twenty-six-year-old Lane Thomas Smith of Waycross was driving a 2006 Chevrolet pickup when he reportedly pulled out in front of 54-year-old Charles Speight of Beaufort, NC. Speight was driving a Food Lion semi truck west on U.S. Hwy. 84 and was unable to avoid hitting Smith’s truck.

Smith was pulling a trailer with a skid-steer tractor loaded on it.

The collision caused an instant fire. Both drivers and a passenger in Smith’s truck exited their vehicles safely. One driver reported minor burns to his hands, but no one was transported to the hospital for their injuries.

According to the incident report, Smith told officers he thought he had the green light  when he pulled out in front of Speight.

First responders were tasked with putting out the fire and cleaning up debris and fuel from the highway.

Approximately 120 gallons of fuel spilled on to the road way and fire personnel built a dam to catch the run off until it could be cleaned up. The Department of Transportation (DOT) was notified of the spill and coordinated clean up efforts with the city’s public works department.