A Smithville Highway wreck on Tuesday morning may have taken happy out of the hour.
Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper Rodney Whiles says the Cherokee Distributing Company driver “didn’t receive a scratch” when the 2017 Freightliner flipped, but the same cannot be said for the bottles of beer and nonalcoholic beverages being transported to Smithville.
The driver, Brandon Thomas, 41, out of Livingston, Tenn., was traveling outbound on Smithville Highway when the accident occurred around Dibrell.
“Mr. Thomas said a vehicle in front of him made an abrupt stop to turn left onto Haley Road,” said Whiles. “He was afraid he wouldn’t be able to stop in time so he tried to take the right shoulder. When he tried to come back out onto the road, the way the trailer and the incline of the embankment were, it caused the truck to overturn. In layman’s terms, he took the ditch and was unable to get out. It rolled him over.”
The wreck occurred close to the DeKalb County line. Traffic was hindered for approximately four hours as crews worked to remove the wreckage. A crane had to be used to right the overturned truck.
“I suspect a few beers will be lost once they flip it back over,” said Whiles. “I’m not going to cite Mr. Thomas. He has a good driving record. However, at all times, you are supposed to be traveling at a safe distance and slow enough that you are able to avoid things like this.”
Cherokee Distributing Company delivers leading brands of beer and nonalcoholic beverages across 61 Tennessee counties.