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A tractor-trailer driver nearly toppled his rig Friday afternoon while turning right from Woodford Street onto North Main in Lawrenceburg.
The driver was making what local officials said was an illegal right hand turn on Main when he cut the corner too short and his trailer began climbing the curb on front of city hall.
Instead of stopping, the driver kept revving his engine and eventually became lodged on the steel handrail along the steps in front of the building, according to Brian Ritchey, who witnessed the incident.
“I was blowing my horn at him, but he wasn’t paying any attention,” said Ritchey, who was headed south on Main Street. “When he finally looked at me, he put the truck back in gear and revved it up, trying to force it through.”
Ritchey, who serves as county coroner, said he finally forced the driver to stop by turning on the blue light in his SUV.
“He was very close to tipping it over,” said City Clerk Robbie Hume. “If he had a load on, I suspect that he would have.”
Ritchey said no one was in immediate danger if the trailer flipped because the car just ahead of his SUV realized the trucker wouldn’t make the corner and pulled ahead.
Ritchey said he was able to back up beyond where the trailer would have fallen, but that there was a school bus behind him.
Lawrenceburg and Anderson County Emergency Management Director Charlie O’Neal said the incident was followed by a planned meeting of the Local Emergency Planning Committee.
During the meeting, members discussed the incident and agreed to request new signs from the state department of transportation warning drivers more directly that they can’t turn right on North Main.
“We’re sending a letter to see if we can get the trucks to stop turning the corner and tearing the handrail off and ruining the sidewalks,” he said.
The signs already in place mandate that trucks go straight through the intersection and use U.S. 127 Bypass to make their way toward the Bluegrass Parkway or I-64.
Hume said the corner has been a sore spot for years, but requests for new signs have not been granted. He said part of the problem is that satellite-linked ground positioning systems (GPS) used by vehicles likely direct drivers to use North Main to connect with Highway 151, which leads to I-64.
“It’s a pretty big issue,” Hume said. “Part of the problem is the GPS routing, but there is a sign there, and they have to look right at it when they turn the corner.”
It was unclear Monday afternoon if the driver of the truck was ticketed, but Hume said police have issued citations to truckers who make the turn.
Hume said the only apparent damage to city property was the bent handrail.
E-mail Ben Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org.