High winds tip over semi-trucks - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

High winds tip over semi-trucks

Posted: Updated:

 High winds are being blamed for tipping over at least four semi-trucks on Iowa highways this week during severe storms. 

The Bremer County Sheriff reports a semi-truck tipped over Tuesday night just before 11 p.m. The truck was traveling in the 200 block of Hwy 218 when high winds caused the semi to overturn on its side. The driver of the truck was not injured.

Wednesday night, the Bremer County Sheriff says another semi was blown over onto its side just after 6 p.m. Paul Sommerfeldt, 49 of Readlyn, was driving east on Hwy 188 when high winds forced his semi over onto its side and into the north ditch. Sommerfeldt was not injured. 

The Butler County Sheriff's Office says 70-year-old truck driver James Budlong, of Dike, was killed Wednesday when high winds turned his tractor on a side, pinning him. Officers tell us heavy winds flipped his tractor trailer, pinning him inside. It happened at around 5:38 p.m. on Highway 57 near Sinclair.

A close call, for James Martindale, whose truck tipped over Wednesday night. The severe weather turned his normal workday of hauling livestock into a complete tailspin. 

Martindale was driving on Hwy 20 just west of Dike, when his semi tipped over. 

For drivers like Martindale, pounding rain and whipping winds are a total different sight. 

"I saw the clouds in the distance coming towards me," said Martindale. "I was thinking yes, I'm going to miss the weather. I'm not going to have to walk outside in the rain. And all of a sudden the big wind just came out of nowhere."

Normally, Martindale hauls livestock, but his truck was empty during this route. His empty trailer was no match for those seventy to eighty mile per hour winds.

"I looked in my mirror and the left side of my trailer wheels were off the ground," said Martindale. "So I jerked the wheel to the right and sat back down and hit my breaks to try to stop on the side of the road. And a second wind hit me, and that's when it lifted the front of my truck over, and I just held on to the steering wheel."

The wind tipped Martindale's truck over, but he was able to exit the cab of his truck. 

"Definitely makes you stop and think that at any point in time anything can happen, you know," said Martindale. 

Martindale drives for Hennick Trucking, and his boss has seen his fair share of dangerous driving weather in his more than ten years on the road. 

"He told me the wind knocked him over, and everything, he was worried about the truck, but I just wanted to make sure that he was okay," said Hennick. "You know the truck is replaceable, he isn't."

Both drivers warn others to take caution, and if uneasy, pull over and wait the storm out.

Powered by Frankly