Four Casualties in Salado, Texas I-35 Bridge Collision
UPDATE: At roughly 11:15 a.m. this morning, an oversize tractor trailer struck a beam of the under-construction FM 2484 overpass of I-35 in Salado, Texas. The impact knocked two unsecured beams onto the highway, crushing a pickup truck and the cabin of another tractor trailer headed south.
Salado Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene with assistance from Temple and other surrounding area Fire Departments. The struck tractor trailer caught on fire and was extinguished on the scene, and hazmat teams have been deployed to clean up the associated diesel fuel spill.
TxDOT officials confirmed this afternoon that a 32-year-old Arlington man driving the pickup was killed. His name has not yet been released. Three other people were injured and taken to Scott & White Hospital in Temple. Two of those people were released on sight and one was admitted in stable condition.
Bob Kaufman, TxDOT's Chief Communications Officer, told reporters in a press conference this afternoon that the truck that struck the bridge may have been too tall to clear it. Officially, the bridge is 14 feet 1/2 inch, with three signs posted in advance of the bridge listing a vertical clearance of 13 feet 6 inches. All trucks traveling this route are required to have permits from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles marking them as safe to clear.
I-35 is still closed at this time. TxDOT's official press release reads:
TxDOT has shut down I-35 in both directions near this area. NB and SB traffic is being detoured to SH 195 and US 190 through Killeen. Current traffic is backed up in each direction about 7 miles from the crash site. Current estimate for clearing the crash site is at least 8 p.m. but could be later. Please allow yourself extra travel time and drive carefully.
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