A semi truck careened off Highway 69/75 in Durant Tuesday morning and overturned in the McDonald’s parking lot, sending debris flying.
According to the Durant Police Department, the crash happened at 9:46 when a semi truck that was southbound on Highway 69/75 “clipped” a car, drove off the highway, struck a “Welcome to Durant” sailboat sign and then crossed West Main Street. The truck struck a signal light before coming to a stop in the McDonald’s parking lot. The semi traveled approximately 1,030 feet.
The driver, identified as Muhamed Zukic, 41, St. Louis, Mo., was removed from the cab by Durant firefighters and then loaded into a Bryan County EMS ambulance for transport to the Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma.
He was then flown to a Plano, Texas, hospital due to head injuries, according to police, and he is listed in stable condition. Police said the cause of the crash was possibly due to medical conditions.
A passenger in the car that was hit on the highway was taken by private vehicle to MCSO where she was treated for minor injuries.
Authorities said that had the semi not stopped after hitting the traffic light pole, it could have traveled further into McDonald’s, possibly causing numerous casualties.
Beth Boothe had just exited the restaurant and was talking on the phone in her car that was parked facing east toward Long John Silver’s.
“I heard a crash and I looked up and I saw debris from the welcome to Durant sign,” she said. “Then I heard it (a crash) again. Debris was flying everywhere. It looked like a tornado.”
Boothe is thankful the truck stopped before traveling further and also amazed that no one else was hit, especially when the truck crossed all four lanes of West Main Street that is usually backed up with traffic.
“The amazing thing is how he crossed that and did not hit another person,” Boothe said.
Durant firefighters and Durant/Bryan County Emergency Management cleaned up the scene, including diesel fuel from the truck’s ruptured tanks.