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HOUSTON, TX – An early morning truck accident Wednesday, January 5, closed down part of a major highway in Harris County, Texas. The single vehicle crash also spilled diesel fuel on the Gulf Freeway on a section where it passes through the heart of Houston. The truck accident site is in the eastern side of Texas off the Gulf of Mexico, about 317 miles south of Texarkana, Arkansas and about 143 miles west of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Early Wednesday morning an unidentified truck driver was northbound on the Gulf Freeway driving through east Texas. The Gulf Freeway is also known as Interstate 45. The tractor trailer is owned by the Kroger Company. The Kroger Company, based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, has a diverse portfolio including a major grocery store chain, mall jewelry stores, multi department stores and convenience shops. It is not known where the driver was headed at the time of the truck accident or the type of cargo he was carrying.

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At about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning the truck driver was approaching the center of Houston. The truck accident happened near the juncture with Interstate 610, the highway that loops around the city. The road surfaces were wet from precipitation and slick in areas. As the semi driver traveled near I-610 he suddenly lost control of the tractor trailer near the exit for Woodridge Drive. The 18 wheeler truck slid on the wet pavement and then slammed into a concrete median barrier wall, causing extensive damage to the Kroger tractor trailer.

No other persons or vehicles were involved in the truck accident.

The Kroger driver was able to get out of his partially crushed cab section of the tractor trailer and was apparently not injured in the truck accident.

The force of the collision punctured the gas tank on the 18 wheeler and diesel fuel began to spill out onto the northbound lanes of the Gulf Freeway/I-45. According to officials the truck accident fuel spill would end up covering about 40 feet of the highway, causing police to shut down part of the northbound lanes of the Gulf Freeway/I-45.

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The Houston Fire Department and a HazMat team reported to the site of the single vehicle crash. The HazMat crew worked several hours vacuuming up the lost diesel fuel and clearing other debris from the truck accident scene. The firefighters remained on site to battle any flames in case the fuel became ignited. A heavy duty wrecker was brought to the crash site to remove the damaged cab section. The trailer section also was hauled off the interstate.

While the firefighters and hazmat crews worked, Houston Police Officers diverted motorists off the northbound lanes of the interstate. Drivers were rerouted to secondary routes and service roads that bypassed the truck accident site before being allowed back onto northbound Gulf Freeway/I-45. The closures would cause traffic delays in the area during Wednesday morning’s commute.
All northbound lanes of the Gulf Freeway/I-45 were reopened at 8:00 a.m., more than five hours after the truck accident.
Authorities conducted a reconstruction of the truck accident and at this point it appears that the wet road surfaces were the main factor in the crash. Officials have not said whether they believe excessive speed contributed to the single vehicle incident.

It is not known if the unidentified truck driver was forced to submit to a toxicology screening test, often required when a commercial vehicle is involved in a truck accident.

The driver has not been charged at this time and the truck accident remains under investigation.

For more information about Texas trucking laws, truck injury causes and victims’ rights, contact truck accident lawyers Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP for expert truck accident advice. Visit our Houston truck accident lawyer page for more information about Houston TX truck accidents. For a free initial consultation, talk to a truck accident attorney at 1.800.773.6770.

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