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Man killed in wreck at intersection of US 59 South and Loop 463 (Video)

By ErinPradia
Dec. 30, 2011 at 6:30 a.m.
Updated Dec. 31, 2011 at 6:31 a.m.

Charles Oswalt, of Franston, was killed when his Chevrolet Cobalt was crushed in a collision with a tractor-trailer Friday on U.S. Highway 77. In the distance stands the semi-truck involved in the fatal collision. The semi's driver, Morris Russell, said "(the Cobalt) cut right in front of me. I didn't even have time to put on the brakes."

Charles Oswalt, of Franston, was killed when his Chevrolet Cobalt was crushed in a collision with a tractor-trailer Friday on U.S. Highway 77. In the distance stands the semi-truck involved in the fatal collision. The semi's driver, Morris Russell, said "(the Cobalt) cut right in front of me. I didn't even have time to put on the brakes."

The driver of a Chevrolet Cobalt died Friday afternoon in a two-vehicle wreck involving a semi-truck.

The wreck happened about 2:30 p.m. just west of business U.S. Highway 59 on Southwest Loop 463, Battalion Chief Tracy Fox said.

The Cobalt had been stopped on the shoulder between a feeder road and the loop, about a half mile from Bob White Road.

The semi-truck driver was heading west on U.S. 59 when the Cobalt attempted to make a left onto the highway, said Department of Public Safety Trooper Sgt. John Henke.

"He cut right in front of me," said semi-truck driver Morris Russell Jr., 60, of Weimar. "I didn't even have time to put on the brakes."

Russell said he continued driving through the grassy ditch on the north side of the highway to avoid rolling over, stopping about 500 feet from the collision site.

Fernando Castrejon, 20, of Victoria, and his friend saw the wreck happen as they traveled the opposite direction and ran over to help.

The back left tire of the Cobalt caught fire and Castrejon put it out using a fire extinguisher from his pickup.

Castrejon and his friend, John Valderrama, 24, also of Victoria, kept the passenger calm until emergency personnel arrived.

"I'm about to be turning 21 tomorrow, and to witness something like this is just nasty," Castrejon said.

Russell, who was driving for MG Food Services, was headed from Robstown to Weimar. He was not injured.

The passenger in the Cobalt, Thomas McCauley, 25, of Elkhart, was trapped in the vehicle and eventually removed and flown to Christus Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi by helicopter, Fox said.

He was listed in serious but stable condition Friday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Charles Oswell, 39, of Frankston, was pronounced dead on scene at 4:45 p.m. by Justice of the Peace Stuart Posey.

The wreck remained under investigation by Trooper Louie Verdeja.

This is the third fatal wreck in the last three days in Victoria County.

The loop was closed in both directions from the time of the wreck until about 6:45 p.m., a DPS communications spokesman said.

Raisin and Quail Creek volunteer fire departments, the Victoria Fire Department, DPS and the Victoria County Sheriff's Office deputies assisted at the scene.

Henke, who began his role as the Victoria DPS patrol sergeant on Dec. 16, said he is proud of how the Victoria DPS troopers have handled the increased holiday workload.

"These guys know what they are doing," he said. "As a sergeant, you couldn't ask for better troopers."

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