Coroner: No indication of medical issue in truck crash

The West Point fire and police departments and representatives from the state Department of Environmental Quality monitored the process - Debbie Millern/Courtesy Photo
Staff Writer

Preliminary autopsy findings don't show any medical issue that might have caused an Alabama truck driver to lose control of his 18-wheeler, careen across four lanes to traffic and crash to his death, according to Clay County Coroner Alvin Carter.

"Right now, the preliminary results show just multiple blunt force trauma, nothing medical, so that's where we are. But the investigation is continuing," Carter said Wednesday.

"We may never know for sure what caused him to do what he did," Carter added.

At about 11 a.m. April 30, 49-year-old Neil Allen Hays Sr., of Leroy, Ala., lost control of the tanker truck he was driving and crashed into the entrance of the Mossy Oak Mall on Highway 45 Alternate. Witnesses speculated Hays may have had a heart attack or some other medical emergency that contributed to his death in the crash. He was northbound on Highway 45 Alternate heading to Tennessee when he lost control as he crossed the railroad tracks just north of Walmart. He crossed one northbound lane, clipped the back of a car, and crossed the turn lane and two southbound lanes, narrowly missing a small truck, before the rig jumped the curb and rolled.

He was trapped in the mangled wreckage of the cab.

The chemicals in the tanker did not spill and no one from the Hampton Inn or the Mossy Oak Mall had to be evacuated.