East Texas highway re-opens 8 hours after big rig wreck - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas highway re-opens 8 hours after big rig wreck

FRANKLIN COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The driver and co-driver of a Mesquite-bound 18-wheeler were flown to a local hospital when the truck they were riding in flew off of an I-30 overpass. It happened just outside Mt. Vernon, shortly after 9 a.m., Friday morning, where the interstate crosses over Spur 423--it's one of Franklin County's busiest intersections.

"We're very lucky there wasn't a vehicle going under the bridge when that truck came off the highway," said Paul Fletcher, Franklin County Sheriff.

Jail trusties helped unload the cargo from the trailer which came to rest across the two-lane spur.

Darin Jordan owns a business near the intersection. He said he heard what sounded like a tire blowout. He looked up and saw the truck and trailer flying from the bridge.

"The good Lord was with them, I promise you," he said. "If they'd been going any slower, they would have nosed into the [concrete] embankment."

Franklin County authorities said the truck was carrying a load of dry goods from Ohio to Mesquite. It was in the fast lane when it tore through the guardrail and off the overpass.

Jordan ran over as fast as he could to help. He said he had to pry open the driver's door to get the driver out.

"[He] had a busted nose, and was really concerned about his co-driver," said Jordan.

We're told the co-driver had been asleep in the back of the cab when the accident happened.

One westbound lane of I-30 was shut down for just more than an hour. It'd take nearly 8 hours to clear the wreckage from the spur and open the lanes back to traffic. No one else was injured in the crash.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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