Driver fell asleep before crash that burned boat he was towing behind truck: officials

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A fiery crash involving a boat caused major traffic delays Monday morning on Houston's south side.

Officials told ABC13 that the driver of an 18-wheeler towing a boat that caught fire fell asleep behind the wheel before crashing.

The boat started burning just before 9 a.m. on Beltway 8 at Highway 288, sending black smoke into the sky that could be seen for miles.

SkyEye captured video from over the freeway, showing the boat completely burned. The 18-wheeler was destroyed as well.

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Boat being towed by truck catches fire on Beltway 8 at Highway 288

The truck was headed eastbound on the Beltway when officials said the driver fell asleep, hit barrels on the freeway near the exit ramp, causing the boat to catch fire.

Officials said there was a second vehicle that got very close to the big rig when the boat caught fire, but that driver was not hurt.

The driver of the 18-wheeler was also not injured.

All mainlanes eastbound had been shut down while crews cleaned up the debris. It reopened hours after the crash.

Meanwhile, ABC13 reached out to the shipping company carrying the boat, but we were not given any information. It's unknown what type of boat it was or where it was headed.
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