By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
PRINCETON — Click here for video
In one moment, a tractor-trailer driver from Michigan was driving on Interstate 77. The next moment, a passerby was kicking out the windshield of his overturned vehicle.
Mercer County 911 received a call at approximately 9:55 a.m. Wednesday about a truck that had overturned near the 10 mile marker along the northbound lanes of I-77. The East River Volunteer Fire Depart-ment and the Princeton Rescue Squad were dispatched to the scene.
When first responders arrived, they learned that the tractor-trailer had gone through the guardrail and rolled down an embankment before coming to rest between the highway and Pisgah Road. Sgt. J.A. Alexander of the West Virginia State Police Turnpike Detachment said a southbound motorist had seen the crash and reported it.
The driver, James Edwards Provins III, 48, of Madison Heights, Michigan was hauling a load of crackers when his vehicle left the road, Alexander said.
“He doesn’t really know what happened,” Alexander said at the scene.
Provins was not transported to a hospital. Sitting in a state police cruiser, Provins said that the crash happened very suddenly. When he regained consciousness, his truck was lying on its side.
“I was driving down the road, and when I came to, somebody was kicking in my windshield to get me out,” Provins recalled.
The passerby, who left the scene afterwards, helped Provins get up the embankment. Provins said he had recently had the flu.
Workers with the State Department of Highways were at the crash. One estimated that the impact tore down approximately 170 feet of guardrails. Alexander said the guardrail might have prevented the tractor-trailer from rolling even more.
— Contact Greg Jordan at