FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A fatal 18-wheeler crash closed eastbound Interstate-30, between Cherry Lane and Alta Mere Drive in Fort Worth, on Thursday morning. Two eastbound lanes were opened Thursday night, and TxDOT officials hoped to have the frontage roads open by Friday morning.
The crash happened just before 1:30 a.m. when, for unknown reasons, the driver of that eastbound 18-wheeler drifted to the right and off of the highway. The truck jumped over a median and onto the feeder road, running over a metal guardrail in the process.
The 18-wheeler then continued eastbound along the feeder road, where it struck a bridge support, causing significant damage. At one point, officials with the Texas Department of Transportation feared that the bridge would collapse as a result of the impact.
KRLD spoke with TxDOT official Val Lopez, who said, “We have inspectors and engineers on-site who have taken a look at it and evaluated its integrity. And at this point, the mode we’re in is to address the fact that one of the columns is basically destroyed.”
TxDOT is installing a temporary column and traffic barriers in the area, which requires the highway to be closed for an extended period of time on Thursday. The agency plans to open two highway lanes and one frontage road lane by Friday morning. The remaining eastbound lanes, as well as the Lockheed Boulevard bridge, will remain closed while further assessments are made and permanent repairs can be completed. TxDOT said that this process will last for several months.
In the meantime, drivers are advised to use Interstate-20 or Loop 820 as a detour if possible.
Meanwhile, according to Pedro Criado with the Fort Worth Police Department, the driver of the 18-wheeler was injured during the collision and transported to a nearby hospital in unknown condition.
The deceased victim, Criado said, was the driver’s 14-year-old son, who was sleeping in the back of the 18-wheeler’s cab. The teenager was killed in the collision and pronounced dead at the scene.