6 car wreck on I-40 sends APD officer to hospital: One person arrested

Early Thursday morning, the Amarillo Police Department was contacted concerning a 2012 GMC U-Haul panel van driving in the wrong direction on I-40.

It was reported that the U-Haul was towing a vehicle and was west of town, traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes at a high rate of speed. Potter County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were looking for this vehicle as it was approaching Amarillo.

At 12:36 AM, the U-haul was observed going eastbound in the westbound lanes of I-40 under the Bell Street bridge.

 An APD officer was westbound on I-40 approaching the Bell Street Bridge when he saw the approaching U-Haul van. The officer was slowing down to avoid the U-Haul when the 2011 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor that he was driving was struck from behind by a Potter County Deputy driving a 2017 Chevrolet Police Package Tahoe.

Officials said the deputy was also responding to the U-haul incident.

As the U-Haul van continued eastbound for several miles, the car it was towing side swiped a 2010 Nissan 370ZX.

Investigators say the U-Haul lost control and struck the center cement median. The 1999 Ford Contour it was towing struck a 2013 Kenworth semi truck that was towing a 2018 refrigerated trailer.

The tractor-trailer was then rear ended by an AMR ambulance.

When the U-Haul van finally came to a stop in the 1700 block of East I-40,  the California driver was arrested and taken into custody. Willie James Brantley III, 33, was transported to a local area hospital where he was medically cleared.

Brantley was booked into Potter County Detention Center on one charge of intoxicated assault on a peace officer, for causing the crash with officer.

APD officials confirmed the officer was transported to a local area hospital with what was originally thought to be life threatening injuries, but was later released. The Potter County Deputy was uninjured.

The driver of the Kenworth and his passenger were uninjured. The paramedics of the AMR ambulance were uninjured.

Investigators said speed and narcotics use are factors in this incident.

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