A local road was closed for more than two hours Wednesday following an unusual accident involving three trucks, a sport utility vehicle, the Gabriel Brothers’ store sign and one very lucky dog.

Calls began pouring into the Marion County 911 center at about 10:30 a.m. as soon as the vehicles came to a stop.

After three West Virginia State Police troopers interviewed witnesses and took measurements for more than an hour, Trooper J.R. Celapino said it appeared a single vehicle was at fault.

He said a truck hauling utility poles pulled onto Route 73 heading southbound from Pricketts Fort Road. The vehicle reportedly pulled in front of a dump truck driven by Doug Arnold, who allegedly couldn’t stop and swerved to avoid the truck, but stuck the telephone poles. Arnold’s truck then became airborne, crashed through the Gabriel’s sign and was headed toward the building when it collided with a Jeep Liberty in the parking lot, Celapino said. After colliding with the Jeep, Arnold somehow performed a 180 degree turn in the parking lot, missing the store and coming to rest near a small creek, he said.

Meanwhile, a Ford F-150 pickup heading northbound on Route 73 clipped the telephone poles hauled by the utility truck and flipped, coming to rest on its top below the demolished sign, Celapino said. The driver of the utility truck brought it to a stop on a small bridge near the store.

The owner of the Jeep was shopping at the store, but had left her dog in the car. The dog was shaken up, but otherwise fine, rescue workers said.

Miraculously, no one sustained serious injuries. As a precaution, the driver of the F-150 and Arnold were taken to Fairmont General Hospital by family members, Celapino said.

Both the utility truck and the dump truck were inspected by the Public Service Commission, Celapino said.

Celapino said the driver of the utility truck would be cited by the State Police for failure to yield to traffic. He would also receive “numerous” citations from the PSC, Celapino said.

Arnold is employed by Johnson Bros. Trucking. Company owner Danny Johnson reported to the scene and said he was pleased with Arnold’s actions, noting it was amazing the dump truck, which was carrying 20 tons of sand, didn’t crash into the building or the creek and remained on its wheels.

“He did well,” he said.

Johnson just hired Arnold two weeks ago and bought the truck last week. Johnson said he would begin looking for a new truck Wednesday afternoon and put Arnold back behind the wheel as soon as he was ready to return to work.

Bonnie Lawson narrowly avoided the accident and called 911.

“The truck flew through the Gabe’s sign,” she said.

George Byers, a traveling supervisor for Gabriel Brothers, was making a routine visit to the retail chain’s Fairmont location when the accident occurred. Byers said he wasn’t sure what course of action the chain would take next.

“This is a first for me,” Byers said.

In addition to the State Police, Winfield and Valley volunteer fire departments reported to the scene.

E-mail Katie Wilson at kwilson@timeswv.com.

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