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Rig wreck prompts traffic re-route

A trucker and his passenger were not badly injured but his rigremained in a creek off Interstate 55 following an early Fridaymorning accident.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M Staff Sgt. Rusty Boyd saidthe accident occurred at 4:33 a.m. around the 25 mile marker onI-55. The driver, Michael Covington, 30, of Zachary, La., was ableto free himself and get to dry ground. His passenger, MiltonTolliver, 57, of New Orleans, was in the sleeper on impact.

Tolliver remained in place until rescuers were able to reachhim. Emergency workers were called to bring a rescue unit out ofMcComb, but were not needed after a volunteer showed up with aboat, officials said.

“They called us in for a tanker in the creek with two occupantsstill inside,” Lincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galeysaid.

A volunteer firefighter with a personal boat to remove thepassenger.

“Luckily any injuries seem to be non-life-threatening,” Galeysaid.

Galey said the situation could have been much worse since thenitrogen refrigeration truck, owned by Linden Bulk TransportationCompany, was empty.

“There probably would have been no immediate threat because it’sjust cold,” he said. “It’s a small creek and we might have beenwalking on the ice to get out there and get him. And it might havetaken the oxygen out of the water.”

Boyd said at this point there is no determination of what causedthe accident.

Both Covington and Tolliver complained of pain after theaccident, and were taken to King’s Daughters Medical Center byambulance, where they were treated and released.

Officials said the traffic on the southbound side of Interstate55 will be blocked for a while Friday while wrecker service workerstry to determine how to get the truck out of the water and off thescene. Motorists are expected to be re-routed from Exit 30 downBogue Chitto Road over to Highway 51 to circumvent the scene,officials said.