PIKE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - A preliminary report has been released into the crash that killed three people and injured four others in Pike County in late July.
In its report, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency found that the crash that killed Trey Strickland, 18, and Michael Sanders, 17, on July 29 was caused, in part, by the bright headlights on the log truck they collided with.
The lights also played a role in another fatal crash moments after the first that subsequently claimed the truck driver’s life.
The three-vehicle crash happened around 10:40 p.m. that Monday night on Henderson-Glenwood Road, approximately two miles outside of Troy.
According to ALEA’s report, Wheeler’s log truck had just pulled off a dirt road onto County Road 2276, but he hadn’t fully straightened the vehicle into his lane before the first crash occurred.
The car, a 2008 Nissan Sentra driven by Sanders, slammed into the log truck’s rear axle, which was still slightly over the center line in Sander’s lane.
Strickland and Sanders were killed in the car. A third passenger was ejected but survived. He was flown to a Montgomery hospital by medical helicopter, according to the accident report.
The driver of the log truck, 70-year-old West Wheeler, was killed after he stepped from his vehicle to see what had happened.
The bright lights were still engaged when Wheeler got out, Alabama State Troopers determined. That meant the driver of another oncoming vehicle, Wesley Lavon Person Jr., 23, of Goshen, did not see Wheeler in the road before it was too late.
Another man who had gotten out of the log truck was seriously injured.