ABC13 Vault: Dump truck bed smashes into West Loop sign in 1983

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Thursday, May 20, 2021
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During a busy afternoon in Houston on May 20, 1983, a dump truck struck a trestle over the West Loop and smashed into the overhead sign.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- During a busy afternoon in Houston on May 20, 1983, a dump truck struck a trestle over the West Loop and smashed into the overhead sign.

The crash happened between San Felipe and Westheimer around 2:30 p.m., just hours before the workday traffic rush.

In video from the ABC13 Vault, which works to preserve and digitize archive footage, the dump truck's bed broke away from its cabin and hit the West Loop sign.

The driver of the truck told Eyewitness News he was heading north toward US-290 to pick up a load of soil when the power take-off on the vehicle slipped into gear and raised the bed without him knowing.

He said he heard a loud noise and looked back to see the bed hanging from the freeway sign and railing. No injuries were reported, and the driver told ABC13 he counted himself lucky.

"I guess the Lord was with me," he said. "It had to be nobody but the Lord."

Watch the full archive footage of ABC13's coverage of the bizarre accident in the video player above.

READ ALSO: Big rig crashes into sign over East Loop, sends it crashing to the ground

Watch live newscasts and in-depth reporting from ABC13 on your favorite streaming devices, like Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and GoogleTV. Just search "ABC13 Houston."