I-10 westbound lanes reopen after H-E-B 18-wheeler engulfed in flames snarled traffic in Waller Co.

Officials said the commercial truck malfunctioned before hitting a wall and another vehicle, which also caught fire.

Courtney Fischer Image
Thursday, January 4, 2024
H-E-B 18-wheeler malfunctions before catching fire on I-10: Officials
Despite the fiery visuals, the Waller County Sheriff's Office said that no one was hurt after the truck hit a barrier and another vehicle.

WALLER COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Drivers on I-10 Katy Freeway westbound at Woods experienced major traffic delays Thursday morning after an H-E-B truck caught fire.

An 18-wheeler had been burning on the freeway since at least 5:30 a.m., and, more than two hours later, showed no signs of stopping. In an 8:35 a.m. update, officials said crews were working to extinguish hot spots in that area.

Houston Transtar cameras captured the aftermath of the incident as the fire appeared to be going out, then ramped back up, releasing thick black smoke. At one point, the smoke finally turned white.

According to a post from the Waller County Sheriff's Office on Facebook, this was a rollover crash.

Texas DPS troopers told ABC13 this was involving an H-E-B truck hauling plastics that had some kind of malfunction and lost control. That's when it hit the freeway dividing wall and another vehicle, both catching on fire.

Viewers shared video with ABC13 as the fire raged. Photos show the truck, tires, and debris engulfed in flames.

Despite the images, the sheriff's office shared the good news that both drivers were removed from the scene safely, and there were no injuries.

All westbound lanes were shut down as fire crews worked to clear the scene. As of 1:36 p.m., only the right shoulder and entrance ramp were still affected.

"After the cleanup, TxDOT will come back out and reevaluate the barriers to make sure they're safe. Those barriers did their job because we had a tractor-trailer, 26,000 pounds or more, hit this barrier and did not come across the interstate. So it did its job this morning," Sgt. Stephen Woodard with TxDOT said.

The Fort Bend County Fire Marshal warned drivers of the road closures for cleanup.

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