August 18, 2004 in City

Truck tips on freeway, hits car

By The Spokesman-Review
Holly Pickett photo

Tow truck operators work to right a boom truck that tipped over onto a car as it was moving westbound on Interstate 90 just past Liberty Lake on Tuesday.
(Full-size photo)

An out-of-control boom truck flattened a small car Tuesday on Interstate 90, just west of Liberty Lake, stalling traffic for nearly an hour. There were no fatalities.

The 1 p.m. accident could have been much worse, said witnesses and state troopers who were amazed only a couple of scrapes resulted from the incident.

Truck driver James Weber lost control of his semi as it passed beneath I-90 exit 296, which empties onto East Appleway Avenue.

The truck, owned by Wilbert Precast Inc., of Spokane, and equipped with a flatbed and boom, rolled on its side, crushing a car driven by Corey DeLeonard, of Coeur d’Alene, the Washington State Patrol said.

A small cavity encompassing the driver’s seat of DeLeonard’s white Toyota Camry was the only part of the vehicle not flattened.

Melded together, the two westbound vehicles slid some 30 yards and appeared to be heading toward motorist John Taylor, who was traveling east.

Taylor pulled over and watched the wreck come to a halt in the median.

“I saw the blue truck tip over on the white car and start sliding toward me. I hit the brakes and was able to pull over all the way to the right shoulder,” Taylor said.

“When the dust settled, I saw the guy in the white car was OK.”

DeLeonard waved to Taylor as Taylor called 911 on a cellular phone.

The witness then crossed the freeway and wrestled the driver’s side door open on DeLeonard’s Camry.

DeLeonard was in shock and bleeding from one knee but otherwise seemed OK, said Trooper M.L. Rupert.

Weber and an unidentified passenger stayed in the truck for several minutes before climbing out the passenger door, Taylor said. Both men were OK.

An ambulance transported DeLeonard to Valley Hospital where he was treated and released.

Weber was cited for having the boom on his truck extended over the legal height, Rupert said.

Weber told investigating officers that the boom on the back of his truck might not have been completely down and possibly struck the overpass, causing the truck to tip.

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