LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - UPDATE: The traffic accident has been cleared and traffic is now moving in both directions.
Traffic is being diverted onto several side roads off US-59 between Lufkin and Nacogdoches.
Around noon, a tractor-trailer was driving on the inside lane on the southbound side of US-59 heading toward the loop. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Marc Slocum says the driver of the tractor-trailer was slowing to keep from hitting a construction crew that was in the area cleaning mud off the road from the rain.
Slocum says the driver moved into the outside lane hitting 2 vehicles that were in that lane. One of those vehicles was pushed into the cement barrier and another was some-what pushed under the trailer of the truck. The driver of the tractor-trailer also ran into the back of 2 other vehicles.
One person was entrapped and rescue crews had to use heavy equipment tools to get that person out. 3 people were taken to the hospital in this 5-car accident with unknown injuries.
The backup from the first 5-car accident caused a second 5-car accident up the road near US-59 just before FM 2021.
Slocum says an 18-wheeler traveling southbound on US-59 was slowing because of the traffic backed up from the previous accident causing his trailer to jackknife and hit a silver Dodge Charger. In the chain reaction 4 other cars were also hit.
No injuries are reported in the second accident.
The northbound traffic is squeezing by in one lane and US-59 southbound traffic is being diverted onto side roads until crews are able to clean up the accidents.
Traffic is heavily backed up on US-59 North & South & FM 2021. Drivers should consider alternate routes.