Two morning crashes cause traffic delays east of Vidor, fuel leakage

photo by Kevin King

Two automobile accidents kept Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers busy Tuesday morning, August 4, the first resulting in a fuel leakage and prompting response by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as well as first responders' using the "jaws of life" to pull a Florida man from his vehicle.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety,  around 4 a.m Tuesday, a 1998 Freightliner box truck was traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 behind a 2011 International truck tractor.  Both vehicles were traveling in the outside (slow) lane when the driver of the Freightliner veered off the roadway onto the shoulder.  The driver of the Freightliner jerked the wheel of the vehicle to the left causing the vehicle to collide with the back of the International truck.  The Freightliner box truck was transporting automobile parts and the International truck was transporting plastics.

The driver of the 1998 Freightliner box truck, 56-year-old Edward Douglas Jr., of Florida, was trapped inside the vehicle.  The "jaws of life" were used to remove Douglas from the vehicle, and he was transported to Christus-St. Elizabeth Hospital with several broken bones.  The driver of the 2011 International, 53-year-old Jesus Garza, of Mexico, and his passenger, Jose Garza, of Mexico, were not injured in the collision.

Troopers suspect that Douglas had possibly fallen asleep prior to the crash, but the investigation is ongoing, DPS Trooper Stephanie Davis said. 

The impact of the crash caused diesel fuel to be spilled on the roadway and Hazmat crews spent hours cleaning the interstate.   

TxDOT announced the re-opening of 1-10 East between mile markers 863 and 864 around 9:30 a.m. in a press release; however, a second accident occurred at approximately 9:40 a.m. in the same eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 between these same mile markers. The crash involved three vehicles: a truck tractor semi-trailer, Chevrolet SUV and an armored vehicle.

According to DPS, a 2012 International truck tractor semi-trailer was traveling eastbound in the inside (fast) lane on Interstate 10.  A 2009 Chevrolet passenger vehicle was also traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 behind the truck tractor.  Both vehicles were stopped due to traffic from a previous crash.  The driver of a 2011 Armored Ford truck failed to control speed and struck the Chevrolet passenger vehicle from behind.  The force of the impact pushed the Chevrolet truck into the truck tractor semi-trailer.  The armored vehicle is owned by Rochester Armored.

The driver of the 2009 Chevrolet passenger vehicle, 44-year-old Barry Bruce, of Evadale, was transported to Baptist Hospital in Beaumont with minor injuries.  The driver of the 2011 International truck tractor, 45-year-old David Mimm, of Houston, was not injured.  The driver of the armored truck, 21-year-old Jared Hale, of Beaumont, was not injured; however, his 22-year-old passenger, Nolan Obey, was transported to Baptist Hospital in Beaumont with minor injuries. 

Due to the crash, the interstate was temporarily closed for an hour.

Troopers issued Jared Hale a citation for Failure to Control Speed.