LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A motor vehicle accident on the overpass/on-ramp connecting South First Street to the loop is blocking northbound traffic on U.S. Highway 59, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
According to Officer Randy Stallard with the Lufkin Police Department the accident appeared to be a road rage incident. Stallard said that as an 18-wheeler was merging onto the flyover on-ramp to get onto the loop, Donovan Rankin, the driver, accidentally cut off the driver of a white GMC pickup.
At that point, Bobby Smith, the 81-year-old driver of the pickup, swerved in front of the 18-wheeler and pumped his brakes, Stallard said. Because the 18-wheeler couldn't stop in time, it struck the rear end of the GMC pickup, causing it to spin out of control, Stallard said.
Stallard said based on damage to the tractor-trailer rig's trailer, the pickup's back end wound up under the trailer at some point before the pickup almost went over the guard rail.
Rankin, who is from Ohio, was ticketed for an unsafe lane change and was not injured in the accident. Smith, who is from Lufkin, was conscious and alert when he was taken to a Woodland Heights Medical Center, was also ticketed for being the at-fault party in the accident.
The accident backed up traffic for several miles throughout the lunch hour.