The Pelham police and fire departments responded to a wreck on State Park Road on the morning of Nov. 23. (Contributed/Gary Waters)
The Pelham police and fire departments responded to a wreck on State Park Road on the morning of Nov. 23. (Contributed/Gary Waters)

Archived Story

‘Serious’ injuries in tree tunnel wreck

Published 11:31am Monday, November 25, 2013

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

At least one man suffered “severe” injuries after his vehicle collided with a tree on State Park Road the morning of Saturday, Nov. 23, according to the Pelham Police Department.

The Police Department and Pelham Fire Department stations 1 and 2 responded to the wreck in the “tree tunnel” section of State Park Road at about 7:35 a.m., according to Fire Department Capt. Brian Cleveland.

The wreck happened when the driver’s silver Chevrolet SUV left the road and collided head-on with a tree.

Pelham Police Capt. Larry Palmer said at least one man was transported by ambulance to UAB Hospital with “severe” injuries. As of Nov. 25, the man’s name had not been released, and police were still investigating the cause of the wreck.

The wreck came four days after Pelham Mayor Gary Waters and several Pelham residents discussed the future of the tree tunnel during a Nov. 19 town hall meeting at the Pelham Civic Complex.

Waters previously called the tree tunnel the “most dangerous” stretch of road in the city. During the meeting, Pelham Police Lt. David Rushton said seven traffic fatalities and 82 injuries have occurred on State Park Road since 1995.

Several Pelham residents – many of who were members of the “Save the Tree Tunnel on State Park Road” Facebook group – said they would oppose doing away with the tree tunnel.

Waters said State Park Road is owned and maintained by the federal Highway Department and the Alabama Department of Conservation, and said the city has no direct control over the future of the road.

There are no immediate plans to modify State Park Road, but Waters said he would support rerouting State Park Road around the tree tunnel and turning the tree tunnel into a walking and biking trail.

  • obamahater

    I would like to know of any other circumstances involved with the wreck. Like, was the driver tired, intoxicated, using a cell phone or other electronic device, did another person or vehicle distract them. Or did the tree just “jump out in front” of the vehicle.

    • lvalentine06

      My husband was not drunk or on his phone. He doesn’t believe in driving while using your phone. He was simply headed to work. Unfortunately there are underlining circumstances that happen and the Doctors at UAB think he may have had a seizure or blacked out due to an injury from something else earlier that past week. Thats the facts. The trees didn’t jump out.

  • lvalentine06

    I agree with JDuke. The man in the article above is my husband and its not the trees fault this happened. Its not even his fault. He is still here at UAB they are trying to figure out what happened. He travels this road every day and he said it is the drivers they fly up and down this road. It is a very narrow road, but it is so beautiful. I would hate to see it go. They need to figure something else out.

    • JDuke

      I hope your husband has a full recovery.

  • JDuke

    This is the “most dangerous” stretch of road not because of the trees, but due to the drivers. People use this as a short cut and drive at speeds above the speed limit. This a beautiful stretch of road, but when it is abused you have people like the mayor wanting to change it. If drivers would slow down and enjoy the view you would not have all of the accidents.

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