An injury accident involving a semi and a sanitation truck occurred at around 2:30 p.m. July 30 on U.S. 81, resulting in one man being extricated from a fiery vehicle an flown to St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, in serious condition.

Byron Clinton Brown, 35, of Iola, the driver of the 18-wheeler Peterbilt truck, was flown to the hospital. His injuries did not rise to the level of critical and he is expected to survive.

“He’s lucky to be alive,” Chad Crittenden, public information officer with the Kansas Highway Patrol, said.

Brown was driving the truck, owned by D and N Trucking LLC out of Industry Texas, northbound on U.S. 81. A truck owned by Waste Connections of Wichita was legally parked in the southbound lane. Brown did not see the sanitation truck and struck it, according to the KHP report. Anthony Ray Armstead, 33, of Wichita, was outside the sanitation truck, a 2012 International, picking up trash when he saw the semi approaching and ran, Crittenden said. Armstead was not injured.

The semi came to rest in the northbound lane and the waste truck came to rest on its right side in the east ditch, the report said. The accident occurred .4 miles south of East 40th Avenue on U.S. 81.

The 2009 DIRE flatbed trailer the semi was towing ripped from the frame of the truck, and oil well drilling pipe came off, Crittenden said.

Wellington Fire/EMS responded to the accident. The department issued a media release, which read: “The semi cab had detached with the drivers legs trapped. A hose line was pulled and a fuel leak was stopped before extrication. Firefighters used hydraulic tools and a saw to remove the driver.” 

Extensive damage and heavy metal of the semi extended the extrication time, according to Wellington Fire/EMS. Eventually the sleeper portion of the semi had to be cut away. 

Sumner County Fire Dist. 9 out of Belle Plaine assisted Wellington Fire/EMS. There were 11 personnel at the scene.

The Sumner County Sheriff’s Office secured the scene of the accident. Traffic was rerouted and U.S. 81 was closed from approximately 2:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., Crittenden said.

“We didn’t have any troopers in the area when the crash came,” Crittenden said. “We sent one from Wichita. The Sumner County Sheriff’s Offices requested our presence.”

The vehicles were removed to a tow lot by Strickland Towing of Wellington.