No one injured in 5-vehicle crash
Jan. 16, 2013 at 8:03 a.m.
Updated Jan. 15, 2013 at 7:16 p.m.
No one was injured Wednesday morning in a wreck involving five vehicles on U.S. Highway 59 near the rest stop between Victoria and Inez.
The crash took place about 6:55 a.m. when a 1998 Peterbilt 18-wheeler pulled out of the rest stop and the trailer it was pulling was struck by a 1995 Dodge Ram welding truck, said Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Trooper Gerald Bryant.
When the pickup struck the trailer carrying train wheels, it went up the side of the trailer then became pinned between the trailer and a second 18-wheeler, a 2010 International hauling a tanker of water, that was also leaving the rest area, said Bryant.
"The welding unit on the back of the Dodge came loose and was thrown onto the highway," Bryant said.
After a car immediately behind the Dodge pickup managed to avoid the debris, a 2012 Ford pickup struck the welding unit that became lodged under the truck.
"Sparks ignited the fuel tank on the welding unit, and it burst into flames," Bryant said. "The driver of the Ford and some others were able to dislodge the welding unit from underneath the pickup before the truck caught fire, too."
The fire was out when the Victoria Fire Department arrived on the scene, said VFD Battalion Chief Roger Hempel.
A 2009 Chevrolet van also struck the debris and suffered some damage to the vehicle's undercarriage, Bryant said.
The driver of the welding truck, Billy James Morgan, 77, of Edna, was treated at the scene for cuts.
The southbound lanes of the highway were shut down for about two hours, and traffic was rerouted behind the rest area onto the old Bridge Inn Road, said Bryant.
The wreck is still under investigation by DPS Trooper Bruce Cipriani.