UPDATE (8:30am) - Eastbound lanes of Loop 287 are now open, however, westbound lanes will be remain closed until at least noon.


A major 18-wheeler crash early this morning has led to the shutdown of eastbound and westbound lanes of Loop 287 near Lufkin Mall.

It appears the truck fell more than 40 feet from the northbound U.S. 59 flyover with the cab and tanker separating at some point during the crash. The cab landed in the southbound lanes of Loop 287, while the tanker was in the northbound lanes.  IT's not known what caused the driver to veer off of the flyover.

Initial reports from UT Health Tyler on the driver are good. He is in stable condition, conscious and alert with a fractured pelvis and clavicle. He is undergoing more tests. He will not be identified pending family notification.

The northbound flyover was closed for a time, but an inspection team from TxDOT determined the overpass was structurally sound, and the flyover has been reopened.  However, Loop 287 has been shut down in that area until later in the day. Loop 287 from North Brentwood Drive to the US 59 exit is closed until around 9 this morning. Detours are directing traffic down the feeder roads in front of the Palms Shopping Center and Lufkin Mall.  Motorists may want to consider taking Whitehouse Drive to Highway 58 and then to the Loop as an alternate route.


Thankfully the truck was only carrying orange juice, but the HAZMAT crew is offloading the truck’s fuel tank. The scene smells like a mixture of orange juice and automotive fluid.


We want to thank TxDOT officials, wrecker drivers and the HAZMAT crew for their rapid response.


More From Newstalk 860