LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A few hours after the Lufkin Police Department asked for the public's assistance in identifying the driver of an 18-wheeler whose trailer nearly hit two officers and a witness Monday morning, that individual has been identified.
Officers Jason Vance and Seth Thompson were out with a stranded motorist on Southwood Drive around 9:30 a.m. waiting on a wrecker to pull the man's vehicle out of a ditch.
"I was speaking with him as we were waiting with him," Vance said. "Officer Thompson was watching for traffic.
According to LPD, an 18-wheeler came over a hill at a high rate of speed and the driver hit the brakes.
"I looked up and I heard Thompson say something like 'watch out' and that's when I saw the trailer of the truck cross both lanes of traffic," Vance said.
Both officers and the man took cover in a heavily wooded area, suffering cuts and scrapes from the underbrush. They said they were grateful it wasn't anything more serious.
"It was the best outcome," Vance said "I'd take a few scratches any day over the alternative."
The driver of the 18-wheeler did not stop, and he was later identified with the help of a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper.
"The driver told Officer Jason Vance that his brakes locked up as he attempted to slow his speed while coming up on Officer Vance and Officer Seth Thompson, who were out on Southwood Drive with a stranded motorist," the press release stated.
When the truck driver spoke to Vance, he told the officer that the incident scared him, and he apologized repeatedly, the press release stated. The driver also said he didn't see the men hit the woods, or he would have stopped to check on them.
The driver of the 18-wheeler is not being cited for failure to control speed, the press release stated.
"The men all agreed that this has been a learning experience, and they're thankful no one was injured," the press release stated.