Woman walks away from collision with semi

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 18, 2006

Between 5 and 5:30 p.m. yesterday evening sprinkles of rain began to fall in the region. On Highway 80, the light showers almost cost a Grand Bay resident her life.

As Luisa Pola drove on Highway 80 East toward Uniontown, State Trooper Dwayne Hosea said she lost control of her green Toyota Corolla seconds before it slammed into the guardrail on the right side of the road. Her car then bounced off the rail into the highway’s left lane, where it collided with Pat Elam’s 18-wheeler traveling toward Demopolis.

“She was going toward Uniontown and I think she just lost control of the car,” Selma resident Elam said. “I thought she was going to hit where the rail started, but she didn’t. Then I saw her coming towards me and I couldn’t go anywhere.”

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The accident occurred approximately three miles from downtown Uniontown, where the four-lane highway turns into two lanes.

At first Elam thought Pola had hit the trailer on his truck, but after pulling over he realized she had hit fairly close to the driver’s side gas tank and had caused damage to the steps on his side of the truck. Impact from the Corolla also knocked the truck’s trailer partially loose.

“When I looked up in my rearview mirror, all I saw was that car spinning,” Elam said. “I just knew it was bad. I didn’t even want to come back to see. But she’s a lucky woman.”

According to Hosea, Pola suffered some minor scrapes and scratches after what could have been a tragic accident.

“I don’t even think she has any broken bones,” Hosea said. “She’s was just more scared and shaken up than anything.”

Hosea isn’t sure how Pola lost control of the vehicle since speed wasn’t the issue as she drove somewhere around 55 miles per hour.

Although Pola was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the accident, she was immediately transported to the Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital where she will undergo a more thorough examination.

Elam was not injured.

“I was just so worried for her because I had so much around me to protect me. And all she had was…” he said as he waved his hand toward the pile of smashed metal and broken glass.

– abaldwin@demopolistimes.com