Helicopters take two to hospitals following wreck east of Zavalla

By Holley Nees - bio | email

SOUTHEAST ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Three people remain hospitalized after an 18-wheeler landed on top of a pickup Wednesday morning.

Two people were transported by helicopter to hospitals following a two-vehicle wreck east of Zavalla on state highway 147.

One other was taken by ambulance to a Lufkin hospital.

According to Trooper Kevin Malone, Eli Miller, 26, and Klarissa Miller, 21, from South Dakota were traveling in a pickup and attempted to make a left-hand turn into a Texas Forest Service Road. An 18-wheeler, driven by Larry Jones, following them apparently hit them from behind and both drove into a ditch with the rig resting on top of the cab of the pickup.

The passenger of the pickup managed to get out of the vehicle but both drivers were pinned in their vehicles.

The three were last known to be in stable condition.  Eli Miller was taken by helicopter to Hermann Memorial Hospital in Houston, Klarissa Miller was taken by ambulance to Woodland Heights Hospital, and Jones was taken by helicopter to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Longview.

"All of them were conscious and talking here at the scene," said Malone.  "Obviously their [injuries] were extensive, they had to helicopter them out, life-flight them out."

Traffic in both lanes was stopped for at least 45 minutes as a Hazmat crew worked to clean nearly 200 gallons of diesel fuel off the road.

"The first arriving Zavalla unit realized that there was a large fuel spill, so they went ahead and got us in route that way we could contain any emissions, vapor, flamability issues that are involved," explained Hazardous Material Chief Richard Lenius.

Emergency workeflammabilitykin, Zavalla, Ora, Huntington, the Angelina County Sheriff's office and the Department of Public Safety were working at the scene.

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