Semi-Truck Driver Trapped for Hour in Rollover Wreck

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. - A tractor-trailer driver is recovering from serious injuries after his truck rolled over and trapped him inside the cab for more than an hour.

The wreck happened Sunday night on I-10 between DeFuniak Springs and Ponce de Leon.

As owner of White's Wrecker Service, Bubba White has seen countless accidents. This one was different, however.

"The tractor-trailer was rolled down an embankment, up against the tree," White said.  "The pine tree pretty well crushed the cab."

Arnold Gillespie, 52, of Pensacola couldn't see another semi-truck with faulty equipment slowing down ahead of him, according to Florida Highway Patrol Troopers. Gillespie ran into the back of that truck, causing his truck to rollover.

Walton County Fire Rescue and Argyle Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the wreck.

White said it was a team effort, all working against the clock not only to free the man but to clear the interstate which was shut down for about four hours.

"We had to pretty well back down an embankment so we could get close enough to it, get the booms run out to lift the cab up, pull the steering column up, where they could get the jaws of life in and cut the cab apart," White said.  "We had to cut the seat apart, and we had to spread the cab open to get the man's feet out, where they could free him to get him to the helicopter."

Paramedics life flighted Gillespie to the hospital with serious injuries.

Troopers cited the driver of the other semi-truck for faulty equipment.

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