UPDATE: Dump truck, pickup collide, passenger in serious condition - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

UPDATE: Dump truck, pickup collide, passenger in serious condition

NOONDAY, TX (KLTV) -

By Sara Story - bio | email

NOONDAY, TX (KLTV) - A fiery morning crash ends with one man seriously injured. A gravel truck and pick-up truck collided on Highway 155 South near Loop 49 in Noonday around 9:30 a.m. The driver of the pick-up truck escaped before the vehicle went up in flames, but the passenger was trapped inside as it burned.

Witnesses say they couldn't believe what they saw and heard.  "This is the worst accident I have ever seen," said James Weesner, an East Texan who drove up on the wreck shortly after it happened. 

DPS investigators say Suggs was driving the truck and heavy trailer northbound when a dump truck pulled out of the TX Dot parking lot. Kenneth Battee was driving the dump truck. "I pulled out into the inside lane and went about 75 yards, and I just heard the explosion," he said. "My first initial thought was, 'Well, I blew out a tire.'" The pick up truck smashed into the back of the dump truck full of gravel.

A driver headed the opposite direction was stunned by what he had just witnessed. "I heard a loud boom and I looked up and the dump truck was on two wheels and a bunch of smoke then," said Marcus Battee.

Witnesses say smoke filled the air, and in a moment, the pick-up was engulfed in flames. "I want to say the smoke and flames were about 30 feet in the air," said Shaun Jackson, a witness.

DPS says Suggs escaped, but his passenger, Kenneth Willard, was trapped inside the burning truck. "I just saw the guy hanging out the side of the truck, burning and screaming. Firemen running around every where, trying to put the fire out," said Weesner. Jackson added, "Firefighters were doing the best they could to get the patient out as quick as possible, but something as catastrophic as that it's hard to do in a timely manner."

The flames had to be put out before Willard could be removed from the truck. "It's pretty terrifying ordeal, especially when you hear somebody is trapped inside a burning vehicle," said Jackson.

Willard, the pick-up passenger, is listed in serious condition. Suggs was treated and released. DPS is investigating the collision.

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