Lufkin loop traffic flowing smooth 13 hours after rig spill

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An early morning truck accident closed parts of Loop 287 for 13 hours after an 18-wheeler jackknifed, causing the trailer to spill on the road with 45,000 pounds of cargo.

Lufkin Police Sgt. David Walker said the 18-wheeler was southbound on Loop 287, at 1:22 a.m., near the intersection of U.S. 69 South, when the driver hit the guardrail, causing the truck to jackknife and the trailer to come loose from the cab.

The trailer, loaded with 45,000 pounds of frozen chickens and tortillas, wound up on the inside lane of northbound traffic on its side.

The driver, Thomas Hanley, of Sheridan, Ark., received minor injuries but was not taken to the hospital. He was cited for failure to control speed. The southbound side of the loop was closed until the remnants of the cab were taken care of.

As of 10:30 a.m., northbound traffic is backed up as the contents of the trailer are manually being loaded into another refrigerated truck from Texarkana.

Walker said he did not know for sure what the exact cargo was, but boxes indicate they are flour tortillas.

Lufkin Police will be on the scene at least until noon, Walker said, and motorists should avoid the area if possible.

The wreck caused major damage to a concrete barrier, Walker said.

This isn't the first time police have been at the scene directing traffic.

"In the last few weeks, there's been numerous wrecks here," Walker said.

In fact, police records show in the past two weeks, ten wrecks have happened on South Medford, also known as Loop 287, at East Denman.

"That's a lot of wrecks in one location, so I'm sure TxDOT is trying to figure out if there is a situation they need to address," Walker said.

Early this morning, TxDOT workers textured the southbound side and crews were still on the scene around noon.

"While we had the road closed, cleaning up the accident, we had our maintenance crews," said David Collmorgen, the Lufkin-area engineer. "We went out there with a small machine and went out there to put a textured surface on it. We're trying to take measures to prevent it from happening again."

TxDOT says they'll continue to monitor the situation and if the road needs to be resurfaced to give it more friction, they'll do it when weather permits.

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