Driver safe after semi runs off road

A Panama City man escaped injury Friday morning when the semi-tractor truck he was driving went off the road on State Road 65, about 16 miles north of U.S. 98.

According to the crash investigation by Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Jason King, Robert Ray Stewart, 45, was driving a 1996 Mack semi-truck and tractor northbound at about 6:25 a.m. during a light rain when he failed to negotiate a right-hand curve.

The report said the truck’s right side tires left the roadway onto the wet grass shoulder east of the roadway, and then continued into the ditch and collided with several small trees.

As the truck entered back onto the northbound lane, the trailer tires dug into the wet soft grass shoulder and then the entire vehicle overturned onto its right side, partially in the northbound lane and on the grass shoulder facing a northwesterly direction.

King’s report said approximately 95 gallons of diesel fuel was lost out of the truck’s fuel tanks. Stewart sustained minor injuries and refused transport. The report said the accident was not alcohol-related, and that the driver was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

FHP was assisted at the scene by Weems emergency medical service, the Eastpoint Fire Rescue, Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Transfield Services, DEP Emergency Response, and other staff from FHP’s commercial vehicle enforcement.


Correctional officer training starts July 8

Gulf Coast State College will be offering a correctional officer training course in Franklin County beginning July 8. Due to recent economic setbacks faced by all seafood workers in this community, there is a specific need to provide training for the citizens of the county to help them become eligible for available jobs.

Working in partnership with the Florida Department of Corrections, this class will be offered at the Gulf/Franklin Campus. Citizens who complete the four-month course and pass State Officer Certification Exam will become eligible to work as a correctional officer at any state, county or privately-run correctional facility in Florida. The Department of Corrections is presently seeking qualified officers in the area of Gulf and Franklin counties.

For more information or to begin the registration process please call 227-9670, ext. 5507 or 5511. There is also a need for FDLE certified instructors to help present this course. If you are a certified FDLE instructor you can contact Doug Boortz, corrections coordinator at the Gulf/Franklin Campus.