Firefighters free woman trapped under tractor-trailer on Winchester Road

jwarren@herald-leader.comNovember 6, 2013 

A female bicyclist was pinned under one of the wheels of a tractor-trailer for about 20 minutes Wednesday afternoon after the truck and her bike collided just outside the Jif peanut butter plant on Winchester Road in Lexington.

One of the woman's legs was pinned under a passenger-side wheel at the rear of the tanker's trailer, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.

Firefighters had to jack up the rear of the trailer to free the woman. She was not identified, and her condition was not available. She was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening, Roberts said.

The tanker, operated by Hilco Transport Inc., was carrying propane gas, according to the Lexington Division of Fire and Emergency Services.

The collision occurred about noon as the truck made a right turn from Winchester Road onto Zesta Place, a small street next to J.M. Smucker Co.'s Jif plant. The truck might have been on its way to a nearby propane storage site off Zesta Place, fire department spokesman Joe Best said.

The bicyclist and the truck were traveling inbound on Winchester Road, Roberts said, but it wasn't immediately clear whether the woman was riding in the bike lane next to the curb or in a car lane when the collision occurred. The bicyclist was not on the sidewalk, Roberts said.

The truck would have had to cross the bike lane to make its turn onto Zesta.

After the accident, the truck was stopped with its front end on Zesta Place and its rear wheels on Winchester Road. The woman was lying near the bike lane. Her bike's rear wheel was mangled and torn from the bike.

Clarence Laine, a Lexington city employee, said he and a co-worker were on Winchester Road and arrived at the scene just after the collision. Laine said they tried to help and calm the woman.

She was conscious and in obvious pain, he said.

Laine said the driver of the truck told Laine he never saw the woman until he looked into his rearview mirror to judge whether he had cleared the curb while turning onto Zesta. The trucker said his first indication of a problem was seeing the woman's bicycle in his mirror, according to Laine.

Best said fire crews were dispatched about 12:04 p.m. and had the woman out from under the truck by about 12:20 p.m.

Inbound Winchester Road was closed while emergency workers tended to the woman and investigated the accident. Inbound cars were rerouted to Delaware Avenue.

Jim Warren (859) 231-3255. Twitter: @heraldleader.

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