La Porte interchange reopens after 24-hour traffic nightmare

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 18 at 7:26 PM

LA PORTE, Texas -— A 24-hour traffic nightmare finally ended in La Porte Wednesday when a propane tanker crash scene was cleared.

The tanker fell off the Highway 146 southbound ramp to Highway 225 West around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, and crashed some 25 feet to the ground.

The interchange was closed while crews burned off the liquid propane inside the tanker.  The burnoff created a huge flame near the scene of the crash.

Many commuters on Tuesday had to wait several hours before they could detour around the closure. At a nearby chemical business, DB Western, employees had to leave their cars parked overnight because they had no way out.

The wreckage was a grim sight, especially for another trucker like Zerling Williams.

“No wheels on the tractor or trailer. Give you chills to see something like that,” Williams said.

Williams later learned he apparently knew the two men in the cab who were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital by Life Flight. One man was reported in critical condition Wednesday. The other is stable.

“They are deep in my prayers. I prayed for them already,” he said.

Williams has 35 years behind the wheel. He works for the same company as the victims - Safeway Transportation out of Louisiana.

There was no early word on what caused the crash, but officials said the person behind the wheel of the truck was actually a trainee. The passenger was said to be a veteran trucker who was instructing the driver.

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