Lufkin Police Officers are investigating an alleged case of road rage that caused a crash on the U.S. 59 Flyover near Lufkin Mall. 

According to a Lufkin Police report, Bobby Smith, 81, of Lufkin, was northbound on U.S. 59 south, approaching the Loop 287 flyover, when an 18-wheeler, driven by Donovan Rankin, 43, of Dayton, Ohio, changed lanes, nearly sending Smith’s truck into the wall, according to what witnesses told Officer Randy Stallard. Witnesses said Smith then got behind Rankin, passed him on the left and jerked in front of him, resulting in the crash.

The impact caused Smith’s extended-cab, GMC Sierra to spin out of control, eventually coming to rest with its back wheels in the air – one hanging over the flyover’s edge.  The Sierra sustained significant front end damage, but thankfully, the truck's cab was basically intact.

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“He really got lucky,” Stallard said. “Based on the damage, it appears that the truck’s front end went under that trailer at some point.”

Smith was conscious and alert immediately following the 12:15 p.m. crash, but was taken to Woodland Heights Medical Center to be checked out after taking a hard hit from his airbag.

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Rankin, who was ticketed for an unsafe lane change, was uninjured in the crash.
Smith, named the at-fault party in the accident, was also ticketed.

The accident backed up traffic for several miles throughout the lunch hour.