TANNER — A Lacey’s Spring man was killed Tuesday when the driver of a log truck traveling south on U.S. 31 ran a red light and struck a van traveling east on Huntsville-Browns ferry Road, according to witnesses.

The driver of the van was killed, Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said. Police identified him late Tuesday as Clyde Paul Crawford, 68, of Lacey’s Spring.

The driver of the log truck, John Lawson Oden, 68, of Somerville, was taken to Huntsville Hospital by medical helicopter. His condition was not immediately available. The wreck happened about 1:10 p.m. and backed up traffic at the Tanner crossroads intersection into the evening.

“I just happened to look up and saw a yellow truck coming past my window,” said witness Pat Hampton, owner of Hampton’s Four Paws located at the U.S. 31 and Huntsville-Brownsferry Road intersection. “I heard a big boom and my niece screamed. She looked up and said, ‘Oh my God, somebody’s dead.’ ”

Hampton said she and her niece ran out the back door of the business because they could see the truck and logs headed their way.

“We didn’t know which way it was going,” she said. “All I could see was logs and a truck in the air, and I took off running.”

Hampton said her business has been located at the intersection for 15 years and that she has seen a lot of wrecks there.

All four lanes of U.S. 31 were blocked by logs, according to police.

Northbound traffic was diverted onto Nuclear Plant Road. Southbound traffic was diverted onto Huntsville-Brownsferry Road. Hours after the wreck, about 4 p.m., Johnson said officers were still diverting traffic around the intersection.

He said the log truck and fallen logs had not been removed from the roadway because investigators were mapping the scene. Emergency responders left the scene at about 8 p.m.

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Photojournalist Gary Cosby contributed to this story. Briana Harris can be reached at 256-340-2440 or briana.harris@decaturdaily.com. Follow on Twitter @DD_BrianaHarris.

(1) comment

Orville Wahoski

I was told when I first moved here that if I see a log truck coming down the road and I get the green light, wait until the log truck stopped because they will run a red light. He was right.

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