SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Two 18-wheelers have collided on the Pendleton Bridge on State Highway 21 on the Louisiana side of the Texas border, according to Sabine County Sheriff Tom Maddox.
Chief Deputy George Griffith with the Sabine County Sheriff's Office one of the 18-wheelers wound up in the Toledo Bend Reservoir around 2:15 p.m. The driver of the tractor-trailer rig managed to escape the cab, and he was rescued from the lake by a boater, Griffith said.
"The trailer was sticking out of the water about four feet. The driver came back out of the vehicle," said Wayne Carter, who witnessed the rescue. "He was holding on to the trailer whenever the boat got here and rescued him."
The bridge was closed until just before 5 p.m.
According to the Louisiana DPS report, the drivers of the trucks were Stanley Wingfield, of Hempstead, Ark., and Jimmy Swindle, of San Augustine. The report does not state which driver was the one who went into the lake, but it does state Wingfield was taken from the scene with minor injuries.
A wrecker driver at the scene said getting the first 18-wheeler off the bridge wasn't going to be a problem. However, other tractor-trailer rigs that had been traveling on the same bridge had to back off the bridge, so the wreckers could get to the scene of the accident.
When asked how he was going to get the one 18-wheeler out of the lake, one of the wrecker drivers said, "I'm going to run two wreckers, and see what we can do. I don't know."
As of 5 p.m., work continued to remove the rig from the water.