March 26, 2015

Winds overturn tractor-trailer, driver uninjured

Mark Taylor

An Atchison man escaped injury late last night when 70 mph winds overturned his tractor-trailer in Gardner.

According to Ilena Spalding, public information officer for the Gardner Police Department, 50-year-old Barrie Charlsen was driving the tractor-trailer at 11:55 p.m. on westbound U.S. 56 Highway and was merging onto the northbound ramp at New Century Parkway when powerful winds overturned the rig.

Spalding said winds clocked at 70 mph with gusts up to 90 mph lifted the empty trailer off the ground and turned the truck sideways, causing it to overturn in the ditch.

“There was evidence on the pavement that the driver was struggling to keep the tractor-trailer on the road,” Spalding said.

Charlsen, who was wearing a seatbelt, was uninjured.

The tractor-trailer was heavily damaged and towed from the scene.

Spalding said the only other known damage from the storm was downed tree limbs.

No structural damage or downed powerlines were reported.


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