August 10, 2011

I-45N at Airline closed overnight after bizarre gravel truck wreck

by khou.com staff, Kevin Reece / KHOU 11 News


Posted on August 9, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Updated yesterday at 12:07 AM


HOUSTON – All main lanes of Interstate 45 North at Airline are expected to be shut down overnight after a bizarre wreck involving an 18-wheeler.

Air 11 video showed the gravel truck’s trailer leaning against the overhead beam that holds up the Airline exit sign. The cab of the big rig separated from the trailer and came to a stop ahead. Severed lines spread hydraulic fluid all over the freeway.

The driver said the dump truck’s trailer began to rise as he drove down the freeway and he didn’t notice until about 5:30 p.m. when it slammed into the freeway sign overhead.

No one was hurt.

Traffic was backed up for miles after the wreck. Drivers in the lanes behind the truck were not allowed to exit. TxDOT did not want to take any chances because they did not know if the exit sign was stable.

Many of the drivers who were stuck in the traffic mess couldn’t believe their eyes.

“Wow, that’s wild I can’t believe it,” said Ronald Green. “I don’t know how he did it, but he did it.”

Isaiah Anderson, another witness, said he used to drive a rig like the one in the wreck and said he knows what happened. He said the power takeoff switch that distributes, or cuts off, power to the hydraulic lift either malfunctioned or the driver forgot to turn it off.

“You go the engage and you got the disengage, so evidently it was engaged, but it was still up when he drove off [he] and probably wasn’t paying attention,” Anderson said.

The trailer was hauled away from the overhead beam at about 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The entire structure that holds the exit sign was expected to be removed Tuesday night and all lanes were expected to be reopened before the Wednesday morning rush hour, Houston police said.

The Houston Police Department Truck Enforcement division is investigating. The driver could be held responsible for the cost of repairs to the freeway

I just want to know how can you NOT know that your trailer is rising into the dump position,  having a CDL means that you must know your vehicle and be aware at all times………….HUH didnt know it was rising…….


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