18-wheeler and car collide, take out traffic light at Lufkin intersection

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Lane Luckie - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The driver of an 18-wheeler slammed into a small car Monday night, taking with it a traffic light pole.

Just before 11 p.m., Lufkin Police said the driver of the rig tried to avoid the collision but clipped the Toyota in the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and College Drive.

The rig ripped the light pole from the ground and dragged it hundreds of feet.

Emergency responders had to pull the driver of the Toyota from his vehicle. The man, whose name was unavailable, was treated at a Lufkin hospital for minor injuries. The driver of the 18-wheeler was unharmed, according to the Lufkin Police Department.

Authorities said no traffic citations will be issued until red light camera photos are checked. Witnesses reportedly placed blame on different drivers. A responding officer said he did not believe alcohol to be a factor in the collision. An official report on the wreck is expected Tuesday morning.

Wrecker crews spent hours cleaning up broken glass from the accident, pieces of the traffic light and cameras, and diesel fuel.

Highway 59 southbound traffic was diverted onto College Drive until after 2 a.m., when one lane was reopened.

Kathi White of TxDOT stated in a press release that detours are in place at the intersection until a new signal is put in place, which could be as late as next week.

Detours are:

* U.S. 59 northbound traffic and westbound FM 819 traffic do not have a signal indication.

* U.S. 59 southbound traffic has a flashing yellow signal.

* FM 819: is not allowed to cross through the intersection.

* FM 819 eastbound and westbound traffic must turn right onto U.S. 59 at the intersection. This means eastbound traffic will turn right and travel south toward Diboll and can use FM 324 to travel into Lufkin. Westbound FM 819 traffic will also turn right at the intersection and travel north toward Lufkin. This traffic as well as U.S. 59 northbound traffic should use the Daniel McCall Drive exit to turn around.

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