ORANGE, Texas — A pregnant woman and her baby were among five people killed in two separate crashes on I-10 in Orange County on Wednesday.
Both wrecks involved 18-wheelers, and happened about two miles apart.
A truck driver was killed Wednesday morning around 9:30 when his truck hit the rear end of another 18-wheeler that was broken down in the middle traffic lane of the interstate. He's been identified as 35-year-old Yosjani Armas-Soler of Channelview, Texas.
It happened near FM 1136 according to a news release from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Troopers said Armas-Soler was ejected from the truck, which burst into flames.
The person driving the broken down truck was not hurt.
He was pronounced dead at the scene by Orange County Justice of the Peace Chad Jenkins.
Less than two hours later, about two miles east of the first wreck, a westbound SUV hit the rear end of an 18-wheeler stopped in traffic due to the first accident according to DPS.
The driver of the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene by Orange County Justice of the Peace Chad Jenkins. He was a 50-year-old Fort Myers, Florida resident.
A 29-year-old woman, also from Fort Myers, was riding in the front passenger seat of the SUV. She was taken to the hospital but did not survive her injuries.
A 63-year-old Fort Myers resident was also riding in the vehicle. She was also pronounced dead at the hospital.
Justice of the Peace Ben Collins told 12News one of the women was pregnant. Collins said medical staff worked to deliver and save her child, but the baby did not survive.
Troopers are working to notify the families of the three Florida residents.
The driver of the 18-wheeler, a Virginia resident, was not injured.
From the Texas Department of Public Safety on the first wreck...
At approximately 9:30a.m., the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Troopers drove up on a multiple vehicle crash on Interstate 10, near FM 1136, in Orange County. The crash involved two (2) commercial motor vehicles, with one vehicle engulfed in flames.
The preliminary DPS crash investigation indicates that a commercial motor vehicle was traveling westbound, in the middle traffic lane, on Interstate 10. According to the driver, the vehicle became inoperable and was stopped in the middle traffic lane. A second 18-wheeler was traveling westbound on the Interstate and rear-ended the disabled vehicle. Upon impact, the second 18-wheeler was engulfed in flames with the driver being ejected.
The driver of the second 18-wheeler, which caught fire, was pronounced deceased by Justice of the Peace Chad Jenkins at the scene. Troopers are working to confirm the driver’s identity and notify next of kin.
The driver of the other commercial motor vehicle was not injured.
At this time, all westbound traffic lanes, near FM 1136, remain closed for an undetermined amount of time. Motorists are urged to find an alternate travel route. Expect delays.
Additional details will be released as information is confirmed.
From the DPS on wreck the second wreck...
At approximately 11:15a.m., the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Troopers responded to secondary crash in the westbound traffic lanes of Interstate 10 in Orange County. This crash occurred approximately two (2) miles east of the first crash, near FM 1136. This crash involved a commercial motor vehicle and a passenger vehicle.
The initial DPS crash investigation indicates that an 18 wheeler was traveling westbound on Interstate 10 and stopped due to traffic congestion from the earlier crash. The driver of a passenger vehicle was also traveling westbound on the Interstate, failed to control his speed and rear-ended the stopped commercial motor vehicle.
The driver of the passenger vehicle was pronounced deceased by Justice of the Peace Chad Jenkins at the scene. Troopers are working to identify the driver and notify his next of kin.
Both female occupants in the passenger vehicle were transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. Unfortunately, both were pronounced deceased by emergency room personnel a short time later. Both adult women were from the Ft. Myers, Florida area. DPS Troopers are working to gather information on their ages and notify next of kin.
The driver of the commercial motor vehicle was not injured.
All westbound traffic lanes of Interstate 10 remain closed. Motorists are urged to find an alternate travel route. Expect delays.
All information is preliminary as Troopers continue to investigate this fatal crash. There are no additional details available at this time.
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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.