Semi crosses highway, runs into woods in North Augusta

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October 25, 2006

A big semi ran off a busy highway this morning and ended up in a nearby wooded area.

It happened just in front of the Popeye's on Highway 25 in North Augusta.

The semi was going south on a busy stretch of Highway 25 around 8:30 this morning when it crossed over the center median. Amazingly, it just clipped the tail end of a BellSouth van going in the opposite direction before plowing through the Popeye's parking lot and finally coming to a stop in the woods.

Initially it was believed the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel, but now we're being told by the transportation department that he may have been choking on a piece of candy when he lost control of the 18-wheeler.

The operations manager told us they found a bag of peppermints in the center of the seats and found the piece of candy he choked on the floor of the truck.

He also added the truck driver had only been on duty for about 8 to 10 hours and there were no skid marks on the road to indicate that he tried to brake if he did in fact fall asleep.

The driver of the BellSouth van told officials that it looked like the truck driver's head was back when he came across the highway.

It's a busy highway. People are constantly pulling in and out of this area, and it's amazing when he came across two lanes of traffic and a parking lot that more people weren't injured.

Despite all of it, it looks like the driver is okay. From what we've seen, it appears he may have a cut on the center of his forehead. We're also told he was complaining his left leg may have been injured from the impact.