Dan Wheeler Heavy Wrecker in major accident on I-45 The Woodlands
Photo credit: Scott Engle, Montgomery County Police Reporter.
A heavy-duty wrecker (the kind of tow truck that gets called out when an 18-wheeler needs to be towed) was involved in a major accident last night that caused significant traffic delays. The wreck was in the northbound lanes on I-45 near Highway 242. A photo from ABC Channel 13's web site shows the wrecker on its driver's side. The Montgomery County Police Reporter web site says the wrecker involved had a tire failure, causing the rig to strike the center divider of the highway and push the divider barrier over into the southbound lanes. Apparently the wrecker struck at least one other vehicle, possibly a third.
Update 1: The heavy-wrecker driver has been identified by MCPR web site as 51-year old Michael Lee Smith. He was driving a heavy wrecker belonging to Dan Wheeler Heavy Wrecker Service out of Centerville, Texas. Also involved in the accident were 26-year old Jordan Burk and 23-year old Courtney Helms of Spring, Texas. Jordan and Courtney's 2007 Saturn was struck by the heavy wrecker after the tire failure, pushing the Saturn into and then over the concrete barrier. Reportedly Smith, the wrecker driver, suffered a broken leg. He was trapped in the vehicle for about an hour as emergency crews worked to free him.
According to the United States Department of Transportation web site, Dan Wheeler Heavy Wrecker Service, Inc. operating under USDOT # 917169 has 5 trucks, 5 drivers, and carries $750,000 of liability insurance with Acceptance Indemnity Insurance Company.