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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • I-20 wreck
  • Piedmont fatality
  • Centre man sentenced on drug charges
  • Coosa Valley water


I-20 wreck

A truck driver is in the burn center at UAB hospital in Birmingham today after his truck and the tanker  is was pulling struck another tractor-trailer parked along interstate 20 near Oxford. Troopers say the accident occurred near 5:30 p.m. Monday evening  just west of the 185 exit.  The accident shut down the eastbound lanes of the freeway for several hours while rescue and cleanup operations were underway.  Officials said that the tanker, which was destroyed by the ensuing fire, was carrying a non-hazardous liquid.  Officials said it appeared that the tanker had struck the parked 18-wheeler then, flipped down an embankment and burst into flames. The driver managed to get out of the truck but sustained severe burns. Officials said that the parked truck was not occupied.



Piedmont fatality 

Alabama state troopers are investigating a fatal weekend accident that left a Piedmont man dead.  Troopers say the one vehicle accident occurred Saturday night near 11:40 on U.S. 278 in Cherokee County.  32 year old Coley Lawayne Smith,  Piedmont, was driving a 1995 Pontiac Firebird when he went off the road and struck a tree. Smith was transported to Baptist Medical Center Cherokee and later died. A passenger in the vehicle, 32 year old Steven Welchbarker, of Piedmont, was injured and transported to Erlinger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn.  


Centre man sentenced on drug charges 

A Centre man is facing a 20 year prison sentence after pleading guilty in Cherokee County court to manufacturing methamphetamine.  31 year old John Charles Latty,  of Centre, entered guilty pleas to unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.  The charges stem from a raid on his home on Jan. 8, 2006, in which he was caught with a meth lab with finished methamphetamine.  Latty was sentenced to 20 years in state prison, with that sentence split to serve five years. Latty also was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, court costs and other fees.  After serving the five years in prison, Latty will be on probation for five years. 


Coosa Valley water 

Officials say that construction could begin next year on a long-sought water treatment plant serving St. Clair and Talladega counties. Officials say that the design for the plant is complete and more than 70 easements have been collected. Bids could follow in the next few months. The concept of pumping water from the Coosa River and providing it to several east Alabama towns and cities was conceived about four years ago. At that time the plant was projected to cost about $22 million and pump water to Lincoln, Pell City, Springville and Odenville, in addition to other towns stretching into Talladega County. Officials now say the price tag for the plant will probably be higher, since building material costs have increased since the projection was made several years ago. The district is seeking grant money for the project. The plant will be located in a rock quarry in Ragland formerly owned by National Cement Co.  When up and fully operational, the plant could provide up to 12 million gallons per day of treated water.

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