Big rig flips over into San Marcos River

Big rig flips over into San Marcos River

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A freight truck is wheels up in the San Marcos River Friday night after an early morning accident on Old Bastrop Highway near San Marcos.

The Department of Public Safety tells us the driver is in critical condition. When the accident happened around 7 Friday morning, the driver was taken to a San Marcos hospital and was later taken by STARFlight to Brackenridge in Austin.

Cathleen Cranford was reading the paper and drinking her morning coffee when she heard a loud noise.

"I heard a kaboom that sounds like the trash truck on Mondays and it's not Monday so I knew something was going on. So I looked out the window and all I could see was a red light in the river and I knew something was wrong," she said.

Cranford immediately got on the phone with Hays County dispatch and made her way down the hill where another driver had stopped to help.

When first responders arrived, South Hays County Fire Chief David Smith says the driver had to be extracted from the truck.

DPS tells us the driver was headed for San Marcos High School.

Smith says the truck was carrying pelletized rubber used on Astro turf fields.

We asked him how the crash is affecting the river.

"The fuel oil and the diesel fuel is the main concern. Of course we deployed hazmat booms down the river in a couple of spots on early. And we've actually swapped those out throughout the day time so we were able to recapture a lot of that," Smith said.

Neighbors tell us the little bridge has a dangerously sharp turn on it and there's been problems there before. Chief Smith says the road is not even meant for trucks as big as the one that fell in.

"This is a low weight bridge, it's out here in a very rural area. There's some signs, you probably saw them on the way in, they're posting warning about this bridge," Smith said.

"The big rigs shouldn't be coming through here at all. There's a sign down there that says a 17,000 pound limit. Well this guy's carrying 43,000 pounds on there so he obviously didn't see the sign and wasn't familiar with the road is our guess," Cranford said.

DPS tells us they think the truck took the turn too narrowly causing it to flip over into the river.

They also tell us this isn't the type of incident where you can just pull the truck out with a tow truck. This is a job for a crane. They've been waiting for the crane most of the day and we're told when it arrives it's going to take hours to get the truck out and crews will be standing by waiting to catch any hazardous materials that come out when it's brought up.

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