|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Trucking wreck closes Hwy 59 south, hazmat responds
BY THOMAS J. TAYLOR
LIVINGSTON – A high-speed crash involving two commercial vehicles and a trailer occurred at 1:23 p.m. Monday on US 59 S. and blocked the roadway with scattered debris and cargo until just after 5 p.m. Police arrived three minutes later and began to assess the situation. According to Offi cer Kevin Ward, Larry Dane Brown, 41, was in a semi truck traveling south on US 59 in the right lane with a loaded fl atbed trailer in tow. Ruben Mendoza Jr., 29, was driving a F-650 commercial truck as part of a work convoy at rest at the time performing road maintenance and also in the right lane. Brown failed to control his speed and struck Mendoza’s truck from left rear, knocking the vehicle 84 feet forward and toppling it on its left side. Brown’s vehicle traveled another 210 feet after impact, losing the trailer and most of its cargo — at least a dozen smaller trailers stacked onboard. The ground was littered with boxes, raised pavement markers, spilled diesel, and some sort of tar used to stick the markers to the pavement smeared across both lanes. Initially the Department of Transportation announced that the road would be closed until 8 p.m. as a hazardous materials clean-up crew had to come from Lufkin to clean the road surface, but clean-up fi nished early allowing traffi c to resume. According to Mendoza and witness, Mendoza’s vehicle was displaying caution lights and signs to warn oncoming traffi c of the work convoy. Mendoza was transported by EMS to Memorial Medical Center, Livingston with non-incapacitating injuries. Brown was possibly injured but apparently not in need of emergency care. Crew personnel were standing in the vicinity when the wreck occurred, but no one else was reported as injured.