Malfunctioning Traffic Light Leads To Overturned Log Truck Wreck In Molino

November 24, 2020

Drivers stopped at a malfunctioning traffic signal at Highway 29 and Highway 97 in Molino led to an injury crash with an overturned log truck Tuesday morning.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a 67-year old Baker man was traveling south on Highway 29 approaching the Highway 97 intersection. The traffic light ahead of the trucker was blinking yellow and multiple cars had stopped for the blinking yellow light.

The driver of the log truck swerved into the right turn lane to avoid a collision with the stopped vehicles. The log truck overturned and struck the rear of a passenger car.

The truck driver was seriously injured, while the occupants of the car suffered minor injuries. All were transported to area hospital by Escambia County EMS following the 7 a.m. crash.

Southbound Highway 29 remained closed for hours to clean up the wreckage and logs. Traffic was detoured onto Highway 97. photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.


28 Responses to “Malfunctioning Traffic Light Leads To Overturned Log Truck Wreck In Molino”

  1. David T. on December 1st, 2020 3:40 am

    If I understand the picture correctly from the article – it seems that the log truck driver failed to maintain control of his vehicle and hit stopped vehicle(s). If this were the case, were I still doing LEO work and it happened in jurisdiction – I would have cited the log truck driver. People should proceed with caution if the way is clear at a flashing yellow. However, the way may not be clear and people indeed need to stop there as they may at any time while driving. In fact, that the light is a yellow flashing increases the odds of needing to do exactly that to avoid a collision. Legitimate reasons to come to a stop at a flashing yellow light abound (road obstruction, pedestrian, cross traffic, lack of visibility to ensure safe crossing, another vehicle ahead has stopped, etc., etc.) – to the point that the only illegitimate reasons are essentially either ‘no reason at all’ or to intentionally obstruct traffic.

  2. Bro on November 29th, 2020 7:17 am

    I agree with Bill

  3. Bill on November 28th, 2020 12:46 pm

    If you weren’t driving so fast and tailgating you wouldn’t have to swerve so quickly.

    A stationary car in front of you will not be an issue if you’re driving correctly.

  4. William Lingo on November 27th, 2020 3:50 pm

    Since when does a flashing yellow mean stop? I swear some people need to take a yearly driving exam, especially in our senior years.

  5. Tom on November 26th, 2020 10:14 am

    Don’t worry since the Log Truck was in the right of way and the law, He will be getting a very nice payout from the folks who decided to stop in the middle of the road on a yellow. Heck he pay be able to sue DOT for not maintaining there equipment. I hope he makes a full recovery.

  6. William S Janes on November 26th, 2020 10:09 am

    Just to be clear…Yes yellow does not mean STOP so we have identified one mistake. Next truck driver either was going to fast or not paying attention far enough ahead to maintain control of his vehicle either one and we have second mistake. So like any accident no one person or event causes the accident it is always multiple things. And to end on a positive…The driver did make that move to attempt to avoid hitting someone and if he has driven a truck more than 2 feet he knew it would not end well for him. So hats off to ya driver.

  7. Resident on November 26th, 2020 9:31 am

    The Log Truck Driver done something many wouldn’t understand. Truck drivers live by a code One life to save others.

    Unless you have rode or drove a truck don’t be quick to judge, you would be shocked how many times someone pulls out in front of them, cuts them off or slams on brakes in front of them. It’s actually amazing there aren’t more wrecks between 18 wheels and 4 wheels.

  8. HAPPY on November 25th, 2020 9:08 pm


  9. Fred on November 25th, 2020 4:23 pm

    Yellow doesnt mean stop. It has never meant for you to stop. It means to proceed with caution.

  10. Matchbox on November 25th, 2020 4:43 am

    People have no clue how to drive these days .. let alone the rules of the road . .flashing yellow means caution… Not stop.. use your turn signals and please do not drive on the left side of the road on the interstate and hinder traffic. Doing so is illegal . It’s a passing lane .. and by all means no phone’s while driving and BUCKLE UP. YALL STAY SAFE OUT THERE

  11. David Huie Green on November 25th, 2020 1:26 am

    I hope the injured are okay.

    Discussing what caused it is not ignoring those injured and/or suffering loss.
    It is looking to avoid other pain and suffering next time and the next time and the next time and the…

    Frequently drivers complain over the radio that other drivers are not treating flashing amber as a Four-Way-Stop. Every time I remind them drivers are NOT SUPPOSED TO TREAT FLASHING AMBER AS A FOUR WAY STOP. but they better beware the ones who are. People with Flashing Red will stop and then pull out in front of oncoming traffic. Beware of them, too.

    Remember: Nobody HAS the right of way, some are supposed to yield it.
    If they do not properly yield — or improperly DO yield, don’t just go ahead and hit them anyway if you can avoid it.

    Many things just aren’t worth killing people over.

    A lesser matter of confusion: There IS no eastbound or westbound Highway97. Highways 29 and 97 are both North/South.
    Yes, 97 winds up fairly west of 29, but both went predominantly north to get that way.

    (And then there’s South 99 north of North 99 and North 99 south of South 99 along 97.)

    David for safety via reduced confusion and misinformation
    and a bit of forgiveness

  12. William Reynolds on November 24th, 2020 9:21 pm

    “When a traffic signal malfunctions and starts blinking yellow, it automatically thurns the intersection into a four way stop”

    That is incorrect.

    “Flashing yellow (caution signal).—When a yellow lens is illuminated with rapid intermittent flashes, drivers of vehicles may proceed through the intersection or past such signal only with caution.”

    FS 316.076

  13. Suzie B on November 24th, 2020 9:21 pm

    Unfortunately, sometimes times a blinking yellow does not guarantee a blinking red on the other side and with the shields on the lights, a driver cannot tell if the other side really has a blinking red. After Sally, there was an intersection with full green on all sides. Apparently computerized lights have faults also. Between that and distractions, which I’m not saying was involved in this case, driving is a full fledged challenge, no matter where or when you’re going.

  14. M in Bratt on November 24th, 2020 8:35 pm

    I think a lot of you are very mis informed. When a traffic signal malfunctions and starts blinking yellow, it automatically thurns the intersection into a four way stop. Wasn’t this traffic signal going to put an end to the wrecks at this intersection? I think there are more wrecks now than before the light. I suspect the same will hold true at the new light at Molino Road

  15. Jason on November 24th, 2020 5:21 pm

    @LB. truck off route? How. He was headed to the paper mill. The car was people I know who failed to treat the caution light as a yield. They stopped. Truck jerked right to miss and caught corner or car which jammed fender into truck wheel causing it to veer hard left and roll. Dont comment if you have no clue whats going on

  16. SouthFlomaton4Ever on November 24th, 2020 4:30 pm

    That light has been a boon doggle since day one…never should have been placed there…red light in the middle of nowhere.

  17. DK on November 24th, 2020 4:23 pm

    Maybe the DOT should post large warning signs before blinking yellow lights.. tell them

    “Blinking Yellow Only Means – CAUTION – SLOW DOWN,”

    Now if we could get the fools around here to learn what a Turn Signal is too.

  18. L. B. on November 24th, 2020 4:15 pm

    Truck off route, car in wrong place at the wrong time.

  19. TomH on November 24th, 2020 3:59 pm

    During and after the many hurricanes and storms we have had in the area, many articles and messages tell drivers to treat non-functioning stop lights as four way stop signs. Somehow along the way people have gotten it in their heads that a flashing yellow light is a non-functioning stop light. Stopping for a flashing caution light causes problems.

  20. John on November 24th, 2020 3:29 pm

    Very common to see people stop at a flashing yellow light when they don’t need to. Guess they missed that question on their drivers test. Can’t blame the light. The fault lies with the stopped drivers, and to the log truck driver who should have been paying attention to the traffic stopped in front of him.

  21. Use of the light on November 24th, 2020 3:02 pm

    This is the rule of the flashing light.

    Flashing Yellow–A flashing yellow traffic signal light warns you to “PROCEED WITH CAUTION.” Slow down and be alert before entering the intersection. Yield to any pedestrians, bicyclists, or vehicles in the intersection. You do not need to stop for a flashing yellow traffic signal light.

    Only down here have I seen it be a four way stop which is incorrect.

    Please drive proper.

  22. Tabby on November 24th, 2020 12:17 pm

    Goodness gracious. I guess we need more lights huh folks ? Lived here all my life and have never been in a wreck. All the Yanks, yuppies, and technology zombies call for lights at all the “dangerous intersections”. Yet it seems every day or at least a couple times a week, there’s an accident at one of the locations you whiners have had a light installed. Seems like this is just more proof it had nothing to do with having a traffic light and more to do with ignorance. I guess “progress” is in the eye of the beholder. Progress to me would be to have Northescambia to return to how it was 20 years or more ago. Before we got invaded.

  23. Praying on November 24th, 2020 10:43 am

    Everyone talking about the road and not worried about actual people in the wreck. If you live down here (20+ years here myself) you know for a fact that that area is ALWAYS dangerous. Prayers they all recover quickly.

  24. Physics on November 24th, 2020 10:01 am

    Anyone surprised? You shouldn’t be. Disappointing that there were injuries.

  25. Just Me on November 24th, 2020 9:56 am

    The traffic light was flashing yellow on Hwy 29 this morning as I was headed to work around 4:50.

  26. William Reynolds on November 24th, 2020 9:22 am

    >>Can traffic eastbound on 97 detour through Tom Thumb lot into Southbound 29?

    No. See photos.

  27. Connie Brookhart on November 24th, 2020 9:19 am

    Not surprised another accident on 29, the flashing yellow/red light seems to confuse people. I am not sure why but last night as well as this morning people were creating a four way stop rather than observe the yellow flashing light for 29 and the red flashing light on side roads. This intersection is a problem anyway let alone with the confusion of the blinking lights. People need to follow the procedures for yellow lights (yield not stop).

  28. Ronda on November 24th, 2020 8:56 am

    Can traffic eastbound on 97 detour through Tom Thumb lot into Southbound 29?

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.