HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - One person is dead and eight injured following a five-vehicle wreck east of Crockett which has shut down both sides of the road on State Highway 7.
The victim, Teddy R. Chance, 59, of Milam, was pronounced dead on the scene.
Three other people, including a road worker, were taken by helicopter to out-of-town hospitals.
Schneider said four vehicles, a Dodge pickup, Ford Ranger, a black Buick sedan and a silver Buick sedan were stopped at a construction zone around 10:45 a.m. when an 18-wheeler hit the Ranger from behind, which caused a domino-type collision with the other three vehicles.
It is unknown if the driver of the 18-wheeler, Raymond Lawson, of San Antonio, will face any fines.
TxDOT Lufkin-Area Engineer, David Collmorgen, said at least three construction-zone warning signs were in the area ahead of the collision site.
"We have warning signs up down the road, and those orange signs, they're out there for a reason. You need to pay attention. When you see those signs, slow down and look at your surroundings. And, see what's going on," said Collmorgen.
Collmorgen says his crews were actively treating cracks on Highway 7 that have erupted after widening the lanes of traffic. As crews funneled traffic into one lane, the unthinkable happened.
"We had traffic control set up, and we were one waying the traffic with a pile of cars. And, they look up, and there were three vehicles stopped at the arrow board. And then, next thing they knew, they saw vehicles going everywhere," said Collmorgen.
The driver of the Ranger died at the scene. Four were injured in the Dodge, and one of those injured was life-flighted. Two were injured in the black Buick, which one was life-flighted. One was injured and life-flighted in the silver Buick. A contracted worker on the scene was also somehow injured and life-flighted, Schneider said.
In one vehicle was Pamela Moran, 53, of Lufkin, she is in stable condition with unknown injuries.
Leona Jaramillo, 49, of Bryan, was in another vehicle. She is in good condition with a sprained wrist. Two children in the car Alondra, 5, and Andrea, 4, are in good condition with bruises.
Another car held Farrel Hooks, 85, of Hemphill. She is in stable condition with internal injuries.
The road worker injured was Christopher Patton, 24, of Nacogdoches. He is in good condition with scrapes and bruises.
"We were able to extricate them all. They've all been transported, either by helicopter or by ground ambulance," said Crockett Fire Chief John Angerstein.
As of 4 p.m., traffic was contained to one lane, with a pilot vehicle escorting traffic through the work zone.
Officials with Crockett Fire Department, Houston County Sheriff's Office, Houston County Constable's office, Latexo Volunteer Fire Department, East Texas Medical Center of Crockett, TxDOT and DPS responded to the scene.