Highway Reopens 19 Hours After Fiery Crash

updated 3/30 – 6:44 pm

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) The westbound lanes of Interstate 30 in east Fort Worth reopened late Monday night following an early morning wrong-way crash.

Emergency crews with the Fort Worth Fire Department responded to a motor vehicle crash that caused a tanker truck to catch fire, killing one person and injuring another. The accident happened around 2:30 a.m. Monday morning in the westbound lanes of Interstate-30, just west of Beach Street in Fort Worth.

According to emergency officials on the scene, a small red pickup truck was traveling eastbound in those westbound lanes. It is not known where the pickup truck driver entered the highway, heading in the wrong direction. The pickup truck was then involved in the wrong-way collision with a tanker truck.

The tanker truck came to a rest over Sycamore Creek, where it then caught on fire. By the time that crews arrived on the scene to combat the fire, the tanker truck was fully involved.  According to authorities, there was a significant amount of fuel being carried on the tanker truck.

“As a result of that collision the 18-wheeler overturned and exploded into flames and the driver of that 18-wheeler was trapped in the cab,” said Sgt. Pedro Criado.

The driver of the truck, Alejandro Raya, died at the scene.

Raya, from Fort Worth, had only been working for the trucking company for the past year.  He leaves behind a wife and three kids, the oldest of which has epilepsy. His wife Amelia told CBS 11 “It’s not just, the manner in which he died.”  She says she wants ‘the full weight of the law’ to fall on the man who caused the accident.

“It was a shock, because he’s a good man.  A good father.  No one could expect this,” said Gustavo Narez, the victim’s cousin.

The driver of the pickup truck, identified by the Fort Worth Police Department as 23-year-old Louis Nieves, was transported to a nearby hospital. He was later released and booked into prison for charges of intoxication manslaughter.

nieves Highway Reopens 19 Hours After Fiery Crash

Louis Nieves, 23, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter after a fiery wrong-way crash killed the driver of a tanker truck. (credit: Fort Worth Police Department)

“We do know that he was driving possibly under the influence of alcohol,” Sgt. Criado said, “but we don’t know at this point in time where he was actually coming from.”

On Tuesday, the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission announced it launched an investigation into the bars t hat served the 23-year-old. Nieves said he remembered drinking 10 beers that night but does not remember entering the freeway or the crash itself.

Investigators said he was drinking at two bars in the 8th Street area near the Fort Worth Convention Center, but will not release which businesses are under investigation.

TABC officials said they are constructing a timeline of his evening to determine if any of the bars should be held partially responsible for Raya’s death.

The Fort Worth Fire Department placed barriers along Sycamore Creek to prevent hazardous chemicals from running into the water. They also tested the water and found relatively low chemical readings, which indicates very little contamination from the crash. The creek bed below the highway was also dry.

Needless to say, this crash created a traffic nightmare in Fort Worth on Monday morning. Both sides of the highway were shut down immediately following the incident, but the eastbound lanes have since been re-opened.

Steve Higbee of Fort Worth was one of hundreds of drivers stuck on the highway after the accident.  “I was in there probably about an hour and 45 minutes,” Higbee said.

The fiery crash did extensive damage to the highway and the bridge over Sycamore Creek. At least a portion of it has been deemed unsafe for travel.

Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation kept all westbound lanes closed for much of Monday, while officials worked to clear the scene and into the evening as crews did temporary repairs and set up concrete barriers.

A statement from TxDOT said, “Several steel beams will need to be designed, manufactured and replaced, including reconstructing a portion of the bridge’s substructure and concrete deck.”

TxDOT estimates that this work will take ‘several months.’ During that time, only the two left lanes of westbound Interstate-30 in Fort Worth will be open to traffic, and the I-30 on-ramp from Beach Street will remain closed.

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    […] Fiery Wrong-Way Crash Snarls Fort Worth Traffic Emergency crews responded to a motor vehicle crash that caused a tanker truck to catch fire, killing one person. Go to News Source […]

  • Jeannie Chappell Adams

    This is the second Big Rig accident in Ft. Worth in less than a week. GOD Bless the the driver’s of these huge trucks. As the wife of a truck driver the danger’s these people go through to get there loads safely to it’s location is incredible. These trucks cannot stop as quickly as a smaller vehicle, therefore when you cut in front of them, you are putting your life & the driver’s of the Big Trucks as well as everyone on the same road in major danger. So let me ask, is being a few minutes late worth someone’s life ? Including you own. Please think before you act !!!!!

  • Deborah

    This is the second time in a week this has happened. The first with a drunk driver pulling out in front of a big rig and now a driver going the wrong way on the interstate and I imagine that person may have been drinking. This time it killed someone simply doing their job, Now a family has lost a valued member, all for the joy of playing chicken with semi’s. I own a small trucking company in Fort Worth and the daily stories my drivers relate to me about near misses on the road. As Mrs Adams said in her comment big rigs can’t stop quickly.

    • Sue

      It’s true that big rigs can’t stop quickly. Why then, do some of them ride right on my tail even though I’m going the speed limit or even a little faster? What would happen if I had to stop quickly? I’d get nailed and probably killed. These drivers scare me to death.. There are many big rig drivers who drive well over the speed limit. You seldom see a big rig pulled over by the cops. We ALL need to drive safely out there.

      • Mike

        I agree with you, I am a truck driver myself and it kills me when I see other truck drivers behave that way. I have never been late on a load and never tailgate another car and do my absolute best to keep a safe distance. We all need to work together to make our highways safer. Also I do see trucks get pulled over a lot out here as much as cars. Yet I am always out here on the road, between breaks of course.

      • pablo alvarez

        There are two types of truckers these days. The experienced professionals are the best drivers out there. Then you have the young, inexperienced punks that have all the accidents. They’re the ones popping “road dope” pills, tail gating, and essentially being the thugs of the highway.

  • Shana Allen Kimbrell

    May God bless this truckers family. I know that it is very dangerous out there, my husband drives a tanker truck hauling hazmat, but not gasoline. I know the dangers and fell very sad for this family.

    • Lee Brothers

      I ask for a healing of the grief for both families. I can only imagine what I would feel if I caused an accident that harmed another. Most people are good people who find themselves making mistakes that change their lives and the lives of others forever. I feel for Alejandro Raya and his family, I pray that they find solace in God’s love. I feel for Louis Nieves and his family. Each of us must face the consequences of our actions and that payment can be devastating. I also wish he could turn back the hands of time and make a different decision; that he hadn’t stopped at that bar and drank. My prayers are with both families.

  • marshal

    Bars are open late.You can buy cold beer at service stations as much as you wamt to buy makes it easy to drive drunk.

  • Olivia

    This can’t be another American life taken by an illegal alien driver who is drunk can it? Rick Perry gives the illegal aliens a drivers license when their feet hit our soil in Texas. This MUST BE STOPPED.

    • Marie

      Are you 100% sure that he was an illegal driver what he did was wrong and plain stupid but I also knw Americans who do worse things and Maybe they should be kicked out of the U.S this is something stupid to say because not all illegal people are the same just not like all Americans are

      • Elmer

        All illegals are here illegally. So, they are all the same and need to leave the same.

      • Robert

        All illeagles….are illeagle…everyday they wake up they choose to break the law…dosnt matter if they are from Germany, Russia, Iraq…or Mexico

    • james

      someone told me and i dont know if this is true that the driver is in the Mansfield jail and apparently in fort worth and tarrant county that is where they send anyone illegally in the US… we need to find out if this is true or not

  • goatpup

    I used to drive a truck for a living, but I got out because of the bad drivers on the road. People need to learn when they get their licence that big trucks are dangerous and how to drive on the same road as them.

    • Sue

      Bad drivers drive all kinds of vehicles. I’ve almost been run off of the road by big rig drivers more than once. Some big rig drivers tail gate very dangerously and many go well over the speed limit. Yes, big trucks are dangerous. That’s why those who are driving those trucks need to realize that and drive safely. We all need to be respectful of each other on the road and drive safely.

  • Mary Sala

    So quick to be racist and judgemental. Not all illegal aliens do the same, so it would be unfair to try and punish all for the actions of one.

    • Robert

      I was unaware that all illeagles were of a single race. Also…I have nothing against any race…BUT….not a fan of illeagle activity…I understand why you jump to the conclusion you did tho….it’s hard not to be racist and judgmental…must be a “white” thing.

  • Beth

    We have to remember, we are human and as such we are not perfect!!! There have been accidents caused by big truck drivers falling asleep, talking on the phone or driving over their speed limit… Remember?? Accidents happen.. Yes we need to take responsabilities for our actions and I bet guy will pay!! We don’t know his status in this country and not because of his looks or his name means he is an illigal immigrant. Whites, blacks, yellows, brown, whatever the color, drink and drive, kill, steal, and rape. Will it be alright if a white or black man was the drunk driver?? Is it okay for whites and blacks to commit crimes just because they are American citizens??? We should look at this and learn from it.. Do not drink and drive!! The way you judge other people you will be judged!!!!

  • Jason

    If your ILLEGAL your already breaking the law,It’s the same as theft,breaking and entering.If your illegal you have already broken in and entered in to my country,also if you use any public service that would be theft.I have no problem with legal immigrants.

    • James

      Well said Jason. As more and more Illegals enter OUR Texas cities its getting harder to keep up with them.

    • Jonesy

      You don’t own the state of texas or the United States this is not YOUR country they may be illegally but they are working to keep their stay.

  • aLEGALimmigrant

    @Mary: While it is true, not all illegal aliens do the same, it could all be averted if they weren’t here illegally in the first place.

  • James

    The article say’s”“We do know that he was driving possibly under the influence of alcohol,” Sgt. Criado said, “but we don’t know at this point in time where he was actually coming from.” GIVE ME A BREAK. you would think by now they would know if he was DRUNK and where he was coming from. As horrific as this crash is its time to step up this investigation…….. but you know the FW PD has issues.

  • Beth

    This country has been given shelter to illegal immigrants from the very first ones to arrive! I didn’t see the Native Americans asking the pilgrims for a green card, passport or a birth certificate… Did you??

    • MelissaNJ

      OK Beth…and that didnt go so well for the Native Americans if my memory serves me correctly so tell us again about the illegals please

    • kc

      Well said Beth! In general, caucasions act like there was nobody in this country until they arrived.

      • Elmer

        Most Mexicans are caucasian. Where did you go to school?
        “Hispanic” is not a race.

    • pleasechooseanother

      I hold that against my forefathers,theyshould have sunk the ships on sight

  • pleasechooseanother

    When you kill an innocent person or persons while DUI it should be an automatic no contest death sentence within the month..!st DUI ticket heavy fine, tongue lashing, 2nd PRISON sentence and never reissued a driver license, would slow down the murder of innocent people

  • Justin Case

    Those of you posting about illegals here are missing the point. Where in the article does it say the guy was illegal? If his name had been WASHINGTON, would you say he was black?
    The point is this: HE WAS DRUNK & HE KILLED SOMEONE.
    The reason you are trying to deflect attention from his drinking is that you’re a bunch of hypocrits & the majority of you have probably driven drunk.
    Two weeks ago when the adults racing in McKinney (drunk) killed someone, did you comment as much about their skin color? Or maybe you didnt care that they killed a NON WHITE person. Probably because he was expendable. What a bunch of hypocrits. It only matter that someone died if he’s WHITE.

    • Robert

      The father of 3 that DIED…was hispanic.

    • Robert

      actually…i just wonderd if he was illeagle or not…what i find is laughable…u cant find out! lol…how f’d up is that….BTW…illeagle aliens can be white….most are….Mexicans are mostly caucasian…not being racist…being nationalist :)

  • CCR

    If the death penalty was enforced for manslaughter DUI it might deter some of these morons.

  • Pat

    I doubt that the person driving drunk on the wrong side of the road has the funds to pay for the damage caused. I would like to see an accounting of the total damages and lives lost in comparison to the amount of taxes paid by the alcohol drinkers in Texas. The person that caused this horrible wreck should remain in jail until he or his family has paid every cent that it cost to repair the damages. There is no way he can ever pay for the life he took.

  • Sheri F

    I think it is sad that all of these illegals here from Mexico are given Texas drivers licenses and then they do not even drive on the right side of the road because in Mexico the drive on the opposite side of the road. So when they get intoxicated on top of that they think they are on the right side of the road and innocent people die!!! I am so sick of everything being taken over with Spanish in America and also this included. Our government might as well hand over the southern portion of the United States back to Mexico because they are doing it anyway!!!!

    • MelissaNJ

      Sheri…im pretty sure they drive on the same side of the road as us in Mexico

  • Sheri F.

    To the persons comment on the name being assumed he is a Mexican just look at his picture and besides I guess you have no clue what is going on around you or in this country. You must live in a gated community where you do not live in the real world and how more and more everything is becoming Spanish. Even to the fact that now our kids here are required to learn Spanish it is no longer an elective like it use to be. We do not do all that for any other group of people living in the United States ie: French, Russian Asians why them??????

    • js

      nowhere in his picture does it say he’s Mexican, just like nowhere in your picture does it probably say you’re American.

      • Robert

        Mexican accent, mexican name…and OH MY GOD!…he looks Mexican…I look like an old fat white guy…stop being so freakin PC

  • Julie

    I hate to tell you James, but you are here illegally too unless, of course, you are Native American. It is not your Texas, and this state was actually part of Mexico first. The racism on here kills me! Don’t racially profile all hispanics because of one guy’s stupid actions. Oh, and James, it’s “you’re” not “your.” You’re welcome!

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  • Brittanicus

    The Illegal Immigration War at Home

    The 14th Amendment clarifies that any child born on the soil of the United States, has immediate citizenship and all the benefits that is commanded by that law. Until this law is amended of rescinded the repercussions on this country are immense, spending in the billions of dollars each year. Many pregnant women lie to the Immigration and Customs official at airport terminals or just slip across the US borders, in the dead of night. Illegal immigration has become a controversial issue, as painful as the unemployment issue. After the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act, the American people expected the federal government to enforce the laws, which included severe penalties for businesses that hired illegal workers; instead the US people were financially-raped. Instead millions of Guest Workers received amnesty then left their farming jobs and vanished into the workforce nationwide. Those numbers that received amnesty, snowballed the chain migration, bring in family members that taxpayers now pay. At one point the Administration was going to allow illegal workers to raid the US Social Security System and Medicare, but any thought of this has been killed at this moment. NO SPECIAL PRIVILEGES WILL BE GIVEN TO ILLEGAL ALIENS , UNDER POLICIES OF THE TEA PARTY.

    Since then-SIX-other furtive amnesties has slipped by public notice and that doesn’t include the importation of approximately 1.5 million legal immigrants annually. By revising the 14th amendment the billions of dollars in education, health care, food stamps, Medicaid, Section 8 housing, cash payments and other undisclosed welfare programs could cease.In some States illegal aliens can collect Worker’s compensation and unemployment benefits. All that money could be diversified to senior Citizens, who haven’t received no cost of living payment in two years. Veterans living under bridges or in shelters could be allocated the low income homes that illegal parents allowed to stay, get preference for their offspring born here. All these public services and entitlements have been drawn away from the US workers, who paid into the system since the beginning of their working life. No matter what the pessimists and open border zealots say, every taxpayer would be willing to pay a few cents more to stop the fraudulent-oriented Guest worker programs.

    Taxpayer are being ripped-off by paying for those agricultural laborers when they get sick or injured, as the farmer is not obligated to pay for their children’s education the families health care. This has become a financially vicious circle that will not end, with either the deep entrenched Liberal-Democrats, Republicans or any political entity other than the committed TEA PARTY. The TEA PARTY is growing much faster from the dominant Republicans, and certain politicians are discarding there old parties to join this third party. The Tea Party is secular in definition, non-partisan with open registration for all legal racial, including ethnic majorities and minorities. The Tea Parties core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government, Free Market and a Strong National Security. We have great substance in the leadership who are fighting against the old, tired “Business as Usual” political hard liners, who will keep our taxes spiraling and mortgaging our grand children’s futures.

    There will be no compromise with either party who keep the dollars flowing; printing more as our US debt are extended uncontrollably. All elected officials should be on notice that if you are anti-sovereignty and pro-illegal immigrant, they will be removed from office. That will be every Governor, Mayor, Police Chief and city manager. Every form of illegal immigration must be terminated, with businesses accountable and should be heavily fined, assets taken and long prison sentences. Obama’s team also needs to be held accountable, as with prior President George Bush and even Ronald Reagan’s leadership. Unions are also not be held to the same policies of enforcement, even though amongst their membership illegal workers are in their midst. The 1986 travesty sent both legal and illegal immigration, in the tens of millions and beyond into our country. The ultra-leftists are demoralized and the TEA PARTY has rattled their fetid cages, because the TEA PARTY has erased their wide open border ideas. Once the illegal immigrant war is won by building the real double fence and deploying 5000 troops along the border, we can cut-out all the special preferences such as Political Correctness “Press One for English.” If any minority wants to legally come here, they had better learn the national language, which is causing great hardships in our overcrowded schools.

    Extremely intelligent, the highest skilled workers don’t not need public welfare and never will and therefore should get special preferences to immigrate America is a place of opportunity, but the taxpayers are being overtaxed to pay for the foreign nationals who come here to steal the American dream, using child tax credits to profit. Criminals have compromised our tax code, and are thieving millions of dollars, as if the government stays ignorant to this fact. Our prisons are full of criminal aliens, drug dealers, murders, gang members and a complex assortment of nefarious activities. No more amnesties, immigration reform dream acts or anything else. The Illegal immigration issue should be important to every legitimate American, as it affects every-bodies pay check. There should be no exceptions to every county using Secure Communities police fingerprinting and detainment of individuals being processed, along with the new version of E-Verify. The new innovations to E-Verify will make it almost impossible, for any illegal worker to slip past the verification procedure. 287 (g) is still enforce around the country, to question any wrongdoer who is driving a vehicle. These tools must be made permanent and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) can suck a lemon, as he tried to eradicate all these restriction programs. Other than California, Nevada has the highest population of foreign nationals in the country. America is a pressure valve for other corrupt governments for their unemployed and those living in abject poverty.

    Attention: Using veiled threats Acorn and its ilk, threatened the banking industry with boycotts, unless they loosened laws on lending. “Ninja loans” reluctantly given to low income, illegal aliens, with no credit, no assets, which crippled the housing market, were causing the financial crash in the USA. The Leftists will not advertise this explosive revelation; read about it on Google and the consequences. Utahan Americans better be concerned that Obama’s Liberal Progressive Czar Eric holder and the Rat Pack, are discussing giving a waiver to give Utah the right to use the Guest Worker program, that would be highly detrimental to low income, low skilled Citizens and Residents having to be in competition with illegal job seekers. Scrutinize the blue pages in your phone directory for your Senator and Representative to halt this travesty of our laws.

    Always NO Copyright, ever. Distribute freely.

  • MARY


  • DE

    i don’t recall seeing his status in the article, whp knows he may be legal but that makes no difference. I drive a big rig also, and frankly to the one who said we dont get pulled over, i beg to differ with you all the time there are trucks on the shoulder for one reason or another. I think they should inspoect cars the way they do us. People in cars do not realize that it takes a football field to stop a full loaded truck on dry pavement, wet pavement even longer. But they are in a hurry to race from behind just to exit 10 feet ahead of us or race from the fourth lane over with no reagard to any one else on the road so they can exit. This is a tragedy, one that could have been avoided and that dad could be home with his family now, but a drunk driver (note i did not say legal or illegal but DRUNK) killed him and the DRUNK only got a scratch. It is so unfair.I know not all truckers are innocent some do tailgate and spped they are the bad drivers, but many are very good, safe, concientious drivers just trying to support thier families. Remember this while you critize us where does your breaad, milk and eggs come from how do they get to the store, how does your favorite jeans get to the store, that special birthday gift ghow did it get there, and yes evn that gas you put in your car that you use to cut us off where does it come from?? Quit playing chicken with the trucks, quit blaming us for everything, and get over te race thing a drunk is a drunk regardless of ones status. With the illegal issue, solution all who are iin this country and not ameriican indian please surrender your birth certificates and go back to where your ancestors came from. Enough said and done, most important quit critizing, and pray for the families on each side for today they both lost a loved one only in different ways. Judge not lest you also be judged.

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    […] Highway Reopens 19 Hours After Fiery Crash Emergency crews responded to a motor vehicle crash that caused a tanker truck to catch fire, killing one person. Read more on CBS Dallas – Fort Worth […]

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