JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A 63-year-old Brookeland man was seriously injured in a three-vehicle wreck that occurred on U.S. Highway 96 in Jasper County early Friday morning.
According to a press release from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the accident occurred about four miles south of Buna on Highway 96 at about 6:30 a.m. Friday.
Christopher Cheatham, 28, of Kirbyville, was driving a loaded 1997 Freightliner log truck east on County Road 721 when he crossed the southbound lanes of Highway 96, pulled into the crossover, and waited to make a left turn to head north on Highway 96. However, his load extended out into both southbound lanes of Highway 96, the press release stated.
A second 18-wheeler was traveling south on Highway 96 in the outside lane, and a 2015 Chevrolet pickup was traveling behind the tractor-trailer rig. John Ulmer Smith, the driver of the pickup moved into the inside lane to pass the 18-wheeler and drove underneath the logs that were sticking out into the southbound lanes, the press release stated.
The other tractor-trailer rig also struck several of the logs.
Smith was transported to the St. Elizabeth hospital with serious injuries. However, the press release stated that his injuries do not appear to be life threatening.
Cheatham and the driver of the second 18-wheeler were not injured in the wreck. The press release stated that Cheatham was given a citation for illegal load to the rear.