Fiery crash sends four to hospital
Polk County Enterprise, March 2007
LIVINGSTON – A fiery crash on U.S. 59 Tuesday sent four people to the hospital, but miraculously resulted in no fatalities, according to the Texas Highway Patrol.
The vehicle that started the chain of events leading to the accident left the scene and the driver has not been identified.
That vehicle, a red Toyota sedan, was southbound and made an unsafe lane change, causing a 1990 GMC flatbed truck to take evasive action into the median, according to Trooper Brent Murray. The driver of the flatbed, 23-year-old Ivan Rodriguez of Houston, overcorrected, coming back onto the highway facing westbound. His vehicle was struck in the passenger door by a southbound 1997 Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by Thomas Brassfield, 46, of New Boston.
The Freightliner and its load of plywood burst into flames, with the driver bailing out and escaping serious injury, Murray said. The Livingston Volunteer Fire Department responded, extinguishing the flames.
Local law enforcement agencies as well as those in surrounding counties were notified to be on the lookout for the Toyota, but the driver had not been located at press time.
Brassfield and Rodriguez, both listed with possible injuries, were transported by ambulance to Memorial Medical Center – Livingston. Also transported by ambulance to the local hospital were two passengers in the flatbed truck, Eduardo Rodriguez, listed with incapacitating injuries, and Jeremias Flores, listed with possible injuries.
Ivan Rodriguez was cited for no driver’s license.
The accident, which occurred at 12:47 p.m., resulted in closure of the southbound lanes of U.S. 59, just south of Baskin’s Department Store. The highway remained closed until approximately 4:30 p.m.
Livingston police, Polk County sheriff’s deputies and Texas Department of Transportation personnel assisted at the accident scene.