Dump Truck Driver Suffers 3rd Degree Burns From Hwy 20 Crash

By: Lanetra Bennett; Leon County Sheriff's Office Email
By: Lanetra Bennett; Leon County Sheriff's Office Email
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By: Lanetra Bennett
May 19, 2014

Leon County, FL - A fiery crash sends a local dump truck driver to the hospital with second and third degree burns.

The dump truck was carrying 21 tons of hot asphalt when it veered off asphalt and crashed on the side of Highway 20 in Leon County.

It happened in front of Nader Tala's Sunoco store. Tala says, "After the dump truck hit the trees, it stopped and caught on fire. The driver jumped out. He was all burned up real bad. He was screaming, he was screaming. A bunch of people helped him."

Jim Spillane was one of the people to help 62-year-old Glen Semmes Monday morning. Spillane says, "I went running out there."

Deputies say 22-year-old Derek Kooi was at the intersection of Blount Creek Road and Highway 20 in a blue Honda around 8 a.m. The dump truck was traveling west on Highway 20. Deputies say Kooi pulled out in front of the dump truck while making a left turn onto the highway, and the truck crashed into the car and flipped over.

That's when witnesses say the truck caught fire. Spillane says, "They brought him over here and sat him on a trailer and he started moaning and crying. He was in a lot of pain."

William Sanders says he was driving a dump truck behind Semmes when the crash happened. He works for the same company as Semmes, which is Jason White Construction. Sanders says Semmes was completely covered in asphalt after the crash.

Sanders says, "First thing he wanted to do is come out of his shirt because the asphalt was coming out of the truck on him, and it was burning him. All he could do was scream and come out of his shirt and say Bill help me, Bill help me. I did what I was allowed to do but, that wasn't much because when someone's covered in asphalt and skin pulling on them, there ain't too much you can do."

Semmes was flown to Shands Hospital. Authorities say he had second and third degree burns.

Kooi, the driver of the car, had minor injuries.

No charges have been filed at this time.


News Release: Leon County Sheriff's Office
Updated: May 19, 2014

At 8:12am on Monday, May 19, 2014, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office responded to a traffic crash near the intersection of Blount Creek Road and Blountstown Highway in western Leon County. Leon County
Emergency Medical Services and the Tallahassee Fire Department also responded to the scene.

Arriving deputies determined that a blue Ford passenger car driven by 22 year old Derek Kooi turned into the path of a dump truck traveling west on Blountstown Highway. The dump truck was carrying a
payload of 21 tons of hot asphalt.

Glen Semmes, 62, the driver of the dump truck, was unsuccessful at
attempting to avoid the car and collided with it, pushing it off the roadway. The dump truck continued across the oncoming lane of
traffic leaving the roadway and rolling onto the passenger side. The dump truck then caught on fire and was completely destroyed. The Tallahassee Fire Department rendered aid and extinguished the fire.

Kooi sustained minor injuries and was not transported by EMS. Semmes was transported by Life Flight to Shands Hospital in Gainesville for second and third degree burns.

LCSO’s Traffic Unit responded to the scene and is continuing this investigation. No charges have been filed at this time.


By: Lanetra Bennett
May 19, 2014 - 12pm

Leon County, FL - The Leon County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened a little after 8 this morning.

Deputies say a blue car was at the intersection of Blount Creek Road and Highway 20. The car tried to turn left onto the highway, but deputies say it turned in the path of the dump truck, which was traveling west on Highway 20.

Authorities say the dump truck crashed into the car, ran off the road, and flipped over on its side. The truck then caught on fire.

Witness say that the driver of the dump truck got out screaming and running around. Deputies say he was flown to Shands Hospital in Gainesville with significant burns.

The driver of the car was treated on the scene. No word yet on his condition.


By: Lanetra Bennett
May 19, 2014 - 10am

Leon County, Florida - A dump truck carrying a load of asphalt has crashed off of Highway 20 in Leon County.

The driver suffered serious burns in the accident, and was transported by helicopter to Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

Eyewitness News has a crew on the scene, and will provide updates as they become available.


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