5-vehicle accident now clear after morning traffic snarl on Eastex Fwy

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The Eastex Freeway HOV lanes will be open for afternoon drive time (KTRK)

All main lanes of the 59 Eastex Freeway near Rankin are now open after a five-vehicle accident this morning.

An 18-wheeler that was traveling southbound on the freeway crashed into the HOV lane and jumped the barrier. Roughly 200 gallons of gasoline were spilled on the roadway as a result of the crash. Four other vehicles also crashed, with at least one landing on its side.

A witness described the accident as "horrific," saying the 18-wheeler drove across all lanes of traffic.

Houston Police Department Sgt. G.T. Hall echoed that report, telling Eyewitness News, "We had an 18-wheeler that was apparently in the right lane of five lanes, and for whatever reason, came into lane four, struck a vehicle, the 18-wheeler went to the right onto the shoulder, then came back left, taking out four other vehicles on his way over as he crossed over over here in the HOV lanes."

The Texas Department of Transportation says the HOV lane sustained significant damage, but the lane appears to be back in place and the scene clear of glass and twisted metal that had littered the highway earlier this morning.

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