Brookhaven truck driver killed in mountain accident

Published 6:00 pm Friday, July 8, 2011

A Brookhaven truck driver was killed earlyTuesday after losing control of his vehicle in mountains nearPagosa Springs, Colo., authorities said.

    Billy Savage, 59, died after losing control of the semi he wasdriving, a 2007 Freightliner tractor and trailer, around 2 a.m.Tuesday, according to officials from the Colorado State Police.

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    Police spokesman Cpl. Eric Wynn said the semi left the roadway,went through a concrete barrier and collided into the mountain.

    “He went through a concrete barrier at Wolf Creek Overlook,” saidWynn, adding that the accident occurred on U.S. 160 at milepost160.5.

    Wynn said the semi was airborne for 136 feet before breaking intonumerous pieces, catching fire and landing in a ravine below theoverlook.

    “The victim was ejected from the vehicle,” said Wynn.

    Savage was later found about 150 feet below the area of impact. Hewas pronounced dead at the scene, said Wynn.

    “It’s unknown if he was wearing a seatbelt,” said Wynn. “It’s stillan ongoing investigation.”

    Michelle Meeks, whose mother, Linda Hudgins, was engaged to Savage,said he had talked to them Monday night and told them of thedangerous mountain terrain.

    “He had told us how rough it was up there,” said Meeks.

    She said Savage, who worked for Oaklee Trucking, of Little Rock,Ark., had been driving 80,000 pounds of sand to New Mexico at thetime of the accident.

    “It’s just a terrible thing,” said Meeks. “He was an exceptionalman.”

    Meeks said visitation for Savage is Sunday from noon until the timeof the services at 2 p.m. at Brookhaven Funeral Home on NatchezDrive. She said burial would be in Savage’s hometown of Roxie.