Pelham confirms fatality in County Road 11 accident

An accident involving a Honda Accord and an 18-wheeler claimed one fatality with three others hospitalized. (Reporter Photo / Jessa Pease)

An accident involving a Honda Accord and an 18-wheeler claimed one fatality with three others hospitalized. (Reporter Photo / Jessa Pease)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

 PELHAM— Pelham Police Department was busy June 8 at the scene of an accident involving a tanker truck on County Road 11 near County Road 52. The incident —involving a Honda Accord and a tanker truck — resulted in one fatality with an additional three injured.

According to a report released June 8, Pelham Police and Fire Departments were notified at 6:45 a.m. of the traffic collision. The first police unit arrived at the

scene within three minutes and found the 18-wheeler tanker truck overturned and on fire. The driver of the tanker was still inside the truck and an officer was able to pull him from it before the cab was engulfed in flames.

Pelham Police Department’s preliminary investigation revealed that a southbound Honda Accord— with both a driver and a passenger — crossed the centerline of County Road 11. The 18-wheeler — also with a driver and a passenger — was traveling northbound, and allegedly took evasive action when the Honda entered its lane.

The vehicles collided almost head-on and the tanker truck left the roadway, taking down all the power and cable lines in its path, and overturned. The tanker, which was loaded with about 9,000 gallons of gasoline, began to burn. The resulting fire caused damage to a mobile home, a passenger car, a utility pole and several utility lines.

The driver of the Honda, 18-year-old James Bradley Ferguson of Chelsea, and the driver of the tanker truck sustained life-threatening injuries and both drivers were airlifted to UAB Hospital by a Lifesaver helicopter for treatment.  Furguson died of his injuries at UAB soon after arrival, and the driver of the tanker is still in critical condition.

The passengers of both the truck and the Honda sustained non-life threatening injuries and moderate injuries and were transported to UAB Hospital by ambulance.

The identity of the other driver and passengers are being withheld pending notification of family.

The tanker truck was operated by Paden Trucking, LLC from Logan. The traffic collision is still under investigation by the Pelham Police Department and members of the Shelby County Traffic Homicide Investigation Task Force.

Deputies closed a portion of County Road 11, from Old Highway 280 to County Road 36, until the teams safely cleared the scene with help from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Chelsea Fire Department, Cahaba Valley Fire Department and Shelby County EMA.

Because of the damage to the power lines, power outages were reported in the area. Pelham Police Chief Larry Palmer said the scene will require utility work before everything is working properly. Alagasco and Charter trucks were already on the scene soon after the incident.