According to a report filed by Highway Patrolman Kolton Kendall, the driver was northbound just after 6 p.m. about two miles south of Normanna on U.S. Highway 181 when a tire on the steering axle of his 1999 Freightliner truck threw a tread.
The trooper said the driver lost control of the vehicle as he tried to take evasive action, and the tractor and trailer both swerved across the southbound lane of traffic and onto the side of the highway.
The truck and trailer separated, and the tractor rolled several times before coming to rest about 20 to 30 feet from the roadway.
Kendall said a HALO-Flight helicopter was already nearby responding to another accident when the call came out for the driver’s evacuation.
“The helicopter was on the spot in minutes,” Kendall said.
Emergency responder Mickie Ochoa of Angel Care Ambulance Service was at the scene quickly, and she kept the driver calm and stable as firefighters used the Jaws of Life and cutting tools to peel back the wreckage and get the driver out of the vehicle.
Kendall said no citations were issued to the driver. He was flown to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi for treatment.