Big rig wreck shuts westbound lane of I-10 at SH 36 near Sealy

SEALY, TX (KTRK) -- An 18-wheeler nearly took out an overpass westbound on I-10 near Sealy late Wednesday morning. The wreck caused a traffic migraine well into the evening.

"Four hours coming out of Houston," says Bubba Smith.

Getting to this point on I-10 would normally take about one hour for Bubba and Sis Smith.

"It's a part of life," Sis Smith says. "I'm glad we weren't involved in it."

When we spoke with Jennifer Hagan, she'd been in traffic for three hours coming from Humble.

Tap here to see photos of wreck

"It's actually been a little less stressful than you'd think," she says. "I kind of had a family emergency that way, so I've had an opportunity to kind of sit back and deal with it. And my child's been wonderful."

DPS investigators tell Eyewitness News this is not the first time someone has hit a column at this overpass. But it's the first time someone has done this kind of damage.

"It kind of nudged the bridge a little bit. It actually, the force was so great to damage some of the railing on top and it did shove some of the brick supports a little ways west," explains TxDOT Spokesman Andrew Carlson.

The damage was enough for TxDOT to shut traffic down in both directions for several hours. The freeway reopened early Thursday morning.

TxDOT says the bridge will be closed to traffic until permanent repairs can be made. No timetable on when that'll be.

No word from investigators on what caused the driver to crash into the column. He was airlifted to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
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