Illegal logging load causes three vehicle crash in Jasper County

Illegal logging load causes three vehicle crash in Jasper County

Friday, Oct. 21, around 6:30 a.m., the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) received a report of a three-vehicle crash on US 96 in Jasper county.

The crash occurred approximately four miles south of Buna. A 1997 Freightliner log truck loaded with timber was traveling eastbound on CR 721. The log truck crossed the southbound traffic lanes of US 96, pulled into the crossover and waited to make a left turn onto US 96 north. However, the log truck’s timber extended out into both southbound traffic lanes of US 96. A second truck tractor semi-trailer was traveling southbound on US 96 in the outside lane and a 2015 Chevrolet pickup truck was traveling behind the southbound 18-wheeler. The driver of the Chevrolet pickup truck moved into the inside lane to pass the truck tractor and drove underneath the logs that were extended from the stopped log truck. The other truck tractor also struck several of the logs.

The driver of the Chevrolet pickup truck, 63-year-old John Ulmer Smith of Brookeland, was transported by ambulance to St. Elizabeth's hospital with serious injuries; however, his injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. The driver of the truck tractor that was southbound on US 96 did not sustain any injuries. The driver of the log truck, 28-year-old Christopher Cheatham of Kirbyville, was not injured in the crash.

Cheatham was issued a traffic citation for illegal load to the rear. This is an ongoing crash investigation and there are no further details to be released.

- DPS

shadow