Two injured after tractor-trailer hits SUV

Photos by Allen Worrell/The Carroll News Rescue crews use the jaws of life to extricate two victims from an SUV on Thursday on Hillsville near Lyons Circle after it was hit by a tractor-trailer on U.S. 52.

A Fancy Gap man was airlifted to Winston-Salem, N.C. and his wife was transported to Galax by ambulance on Thursday after their 2011 Chevrolet SUV was struck by a tractor-trailer on U.S. 52 in Hillsville.

A man was airlifted and a female was transported by ambulance Thursday afternoon after a tractor-trailer struck an SUV in Hillsville.

Hillsville Police Chief Wesley Yonce said a tractor-trailer was traveling north on U.S. 52 and a passenger vehicle was traveling south.

“Eyewitnesses in front of the vehicle saw it in the mirror and said they saw the tractor-trailer lock its brakes up and start sliding,” Yonce said. “When they looked in their mirror, the trailer slid over and the passenger vehicle had nowhere to go and they made contact here in the southbound lane.”

According to Hillsville Police Department Officer Shannon Goad, the accident took place at about 1:40 p.m. one-tenth of a mile south of Lyons Circle. Goad said it was obvious the tractor-trailer was going over the speed limit by the tire impressions left in the pavement, noting that the tractor-trailer knocked the SUV over into a bank. Goad said Larry Highland, 76, of Fancy Gap, the driver of the 2011 Chevrolet SUV, was airlifted to Winston-Salem, N.C., while his wife, Dolleta “Dot” Highland, 73, was transported by ambulance to Twin County Regional Hospital in Galax. Both were talking and alert at the scene, Goad said, and were in stable condition later Thursday.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Warren C. Johnson, 58, of Claudville, has been charged with reckless driving, failure to maintain control, Goad said, adding Johnson was driving for J&P Trucking of Stuart.

Allen Worrell can be reached by calling (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN