SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - An 18-wheeler that plunged into the depths of Toledo Bend Reservoir a week ago today is now out of the water.
The collision between two big rigs on Highway 21 at the Sabine River Bridge at Pendleton Harbor left the driver with a broken leg. The other driver wasn't hurt.
The assembly of a barge from Lake Charles, Louisiana and a tall crane took most of Tuesday.
Once it was anchored on the south side of the Sabine River Bridge, crews got to work Wednesday morning.
Divers had the job of connecting the truck's trailer to cables. At the time of the accident, the Pilgrims Pride trailer was hauling chicken feed. By mid-morning the wreckage was lifted out of the 20-foot-deep water and placed on the barge.
Winter Texans watched from the shoreline about 7/10 a mile away.
"It's really been a slow process. Just a lot of guys over there, and I did see one diver go in," said Lisa Pretsch, a spectator who hails from Wisconsin.
The diver returned for the cab. It's owned by the Lout Trucking Company in San Augustine and harbored their driver Larry Swindle, He's recuperating from the nightmarish experience of being immersed in the cold lake.
Both companies are praised for taking the right steps since day one.
"They put a containment buoy around it the day it happened," said Tony Farrell with the Pendleton Harbor Water Company. "The two companies involved have been just spectacular with working with us and keeping us in the loop."
Water quality testing in both Louisiana and Texas are conducted as frequently as every 12 hours. Results show no contamination. The spill in the fifth largest lake in the United States is described as small.
"Probably less than the height of the season with boats in the lake," Farrell said.
The cargo spillage may bring on an early season.
With a trailer full of chicken feed at the bottom of Toledo Bend, in a specific spot, fishermen are asking questions. They already have posted on Facebook telling people to go to the 43rd pylon. That's the honey hole.
Calls were placed to the Louisiana State Patrol in hopes of finding out what caused the accident. At last contact, troopers said the accident was still under investigation.