LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Southbound traffic coming from Nacogdoches on U.S. Highway 59 is again being diverted onto Lufkin's Spence Street after an 18-wheeler's load struck the railroad trestle just north of town. The driver was taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Tamela Snider, Raymond Wisby, 41, of Lufkin, was hauling a load of heavy scrap metal to Guy's Scrap in Lufkin when he struck the railroad trestle, knocking a chunk off the concrete structure. Snider's load was knocked completely off his trailer.
As a result of the accident, both southbound lanes of traffic on Highway 59 were blocked for several hours. Now, both the south and northbound lanes of traffic are open.
Snider said Wisby was cited for disregarding official traffic control measures.
A heavy-duty crane was brought into lift the load of scrap, so it could be hauled away. In addition, Union Pacific employees have already been out to the scene to check the structural integrity of the railroad trestle. The UP employees said the trestle is still safe for train traffic.
Traffic was allowed back through around 4 p.m. However, TxDOT spokeswoman Kathi White said it had to be shut down again around 5:30 p.m. to allow workers to repair the trestle. It is expected to stay closed until midnight.