The driver of a tractor trailer heading west on the Valdosta Highway Thursday morning saw a vehicle stopped in front of him — waiting to make a left turn onto Needham Road — and he swerved to avoid a collision, which caused his rig to veer off the road and into a ditch, said Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal.
The truck was stuck in mud for about eight hours, said Royal, the wreckage blocking the entire road.
The driver, Richard Allan Cagle, 47, of Pooler, was not injured in the crash, Royal said, and he did not make contact with the other vehicle.
Because of heavy rain and water on the road, Royal said the driver realized he would not be able to stop and took evasive action.
Driving a 2005 International 9200 series with a box trailer, Cagle was rounding a curve on the Valdosta Highway when he saw the vehicle. Royal said in an effort to avoid hitting the vehicle, he navigated his rig onto the shoulder of the road and it skidded into a ditch that was heavily sopped with rain water.
The rig then struck a small tree, got stuck in the mud and the trailer partially tilted over.
The highway was closed to all traffic for several hours and then one lane was opened for school buses to maneuver through at about 3 p.m., the sheriff said.
Trooper Josh Taylor investigated the accident for the Georgia State Patrol. Deputy Travis Stauffer and others were on the scene to assist with traffic throughout the day.
Royal said the crash occurred at 7:49 a.m.