An 18-wheeler crashed shortly after 8 a.m. and closed U.S. 59 closed in front of Cleveland Mac truck, a truck dealership north of the city limits of Cleveland. The truck was carrying hazardous material, a compound for making high strength industrial soap. Fire and EMS crews first on the scene have been contaminated. This includes the driver who is in critical condition, several medics, firefighters and the PHI Air Medical crew.
Cleveland EMS has transported the driver in critical condition to Ben Taub Hospital in Houston. Along with them are two PHI Air Medical crew members who iare assisting but was also contaminated, and two Cleveland Medics who were contaminated. Five firefighters on the scene also had to be de-contaminated.
Harris County HazMat was dispatched to the scene. It is unknown at this time what caused the driver of this Conway Freight truck to leave the roadway. According to DPS Troopers the truck left the roadway and traveled almost one thousand yards striking the fence in front of the Cleveland Mack Truck dealership. Almost one hundred feet of fence was destroyed which also scratched several new 18-wheelers. It then ripped out the water main for the business and struck guy wires holding the power line. This caused power to go out at the business. The truck continued until it struck a large pine tree which almost split the 18-wheeler cab in two. Ripping the trailer open and off the tractor several hundred gallons of chemicals started to flow onto the driveway of the business. Parts of the truck were hanging from the tree it struck.
UPDATE: At 1 p.m. Cleveland Police were assisting DPS scaling the scene and haz-mat crews remain on the scene to start cleanup. Northbound traffic is unaffected. South bound traffic has heavy backup as it is limited to one lane.
Ben Taub Hospital had an area blocked off for some time as they decontaminated the crews that were transported there. The emergency workers were cleared medically. The driver remains in critical condition.