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18-Wheeler Falls Off Overpass, Catches Fire

An 18-wheeler fell off an overpass and caught fire earlier this week. Houston Police and Fire officials arrived shortly after the truck accident occurred on Monday at about 2:15 p.m.

The tractor trailer, a Dr. Pepper box truck, and was traveling south on Texas 288 when it skidded off the Alabama overpass on Highway 59.

A witness that was driving with his family in the northbound lane of the Southwest Freeway saw the truck fall from the overpass. The witness barely escaped from being hit by the falling 18-wheeler. Upon seeing a rock hit the hood of their vehicle, the witness directed the driver to step on the gas. When he turned back, he saw the truck fall down and blow up.

According to investigators, the driver of the 18-wheeler lost control of his vehicle, hitting a guardrail before skidding off the overpass. The impact of the fall ejected the driver and caused the truck to burst into flames. The driver survived the crash.

Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Alexander with the Houston Fire Department stated that the driver of the truck was lucky to be alive. In fact, officials responding to the accident were surprised that the driver survived the ordeal.

The driver was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital with second-degree burns and possibly two broken legs. He was listed in critical condition. Three other vehicles were involved in the crash, and one other individual was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. 

The Texas Department of Transportation was called after the truck accident to investigate the structural integrity of the overpass and repair the bridge. Also, a hazardous materials team was dispatched to clean debris and handle a fuel leak.

Source: 39online.com "18-Wheeler Skids Off Overpass Barely Missing a Passerby" 9/6/10

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