Alabama highway wrecks prove fatal after failure to yield right of way

spedersen@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 3, 2013 

The two fatal wrecks in Russell County last week occurred after drivers failed to yield right of way, according to the Alabama traffic reports.

Wileatha Brown, 40, died Wednesday on U.S. Highway 431 after her 2008 Suzuki Forenza was T-boned by a tractor with a semi-trailer. Brown was at the intersection of Alabama Highway 169 and 431. The driver of the semi was driving 65 mph in the southbound lane when Brown pulled out in front of him, according to the report.

The semi struck Brown's Forenza in the driver's side before both vehicles went into the median and then back across both lanes before stopping in the southbound shoulder. Pictures from the scene showed the truck may have slightly rolled on top of the sedan.

Police were notified at 7:09 a.m., and Russell County Coroner Arthur Sumbry Jr. pronounced her dead at the scene at 8:35 a.m. State troopers said Brown, a Russell County High School teacher from Tuskegee, was not wearing her seatbelt. The driver of the 18-wheeler was uninjured.

In Friday's deadly wreck on Highway 165, Jose Angel Jimenez Jr., 31, was killed after a tractor with a semi-trailer failed to yield right of way when turning into Mead Gate 5 near Meadwestvaco in the unincorporated town of Cottonton, Ala., according to the report.

Jimenez, a soldier assigned to the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, was on a motorcycle mentor safety program ride with Brent Ottinger, who was on a separate motorcycle. According to the report, Harold Huckeba, 59, was traveling north on 165 when he turned left at the same time Jimenez was turning right onto Mead Gate 5. Jimenez attempted to avoid the semi but his motorcycle ultimately was struck and lodged under the 18-wheeler.

Jimenez fell from his bike and was run over by the left side tires of the tractor, troopers said. Ottinger told officials he was in the left lane traveling north when the tractor turned and struck his partner. Ottinger nearly struck the rear of the 18-wheeler after it collided with Jimenez. Another witness, this one driving a tractor trailer right behind Huckeba, said traffic was not clear when Huckeba turned.

Huckeba told officials he did not see oncoming traffic. The wreck occurred at 10:18 a.m.

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service