Texas authorities say that a stretch of highway will be closed down for the rest of the week while crews try to figure out what to do about a massive truck load that is currently stuck in the mud. On Monday, November 26, around 1:30 p.m. a truck hauling huge oversized load on northbound Highway 185 near Victoria, Texas, got stuck after the back end drifted off of the highway into a ditch. The weight of the heavy load caused the tires to sink into the mud on the side of the roadway, rendering the truck immobile.
The combined weight of the hauling equipment and the load is about 1.8 million pounds. John Clegg, of Clegg Services, a Texas trucking company that specializes in transporting large structures like mobile homes, explained that equipment failure was to blame for the truck going off the road: “The steering mechanism on the back carrier failed and basically drove itself into the ditch. No one did anything wrong.” A load this large running off the highway is a highly unusual occurrence, according to local heavy hauling experts. “I’ve never heard of it occurring. It just doesn’t happen. That much weight off-road is unimaginable,” said Clegg.
While no one was hurt during this incident, a crash occurred around 2 p.m. in the backup caused by the stuck truck. A pickup crashed into an SUV and then a Victoria County Sheriff’s deputy’s car at “full highway speed”, causing the pickup to crash into a ditch. The SUV driver was transported to the hospital for treatment of non life threatening injuries. No one else was hurt.
Texas transportation officials are considering bringing in large capacity cranes to try to get the truck back on the road. Northbound Highway 185 between Rupley Lake Road and Guadalupe Road is now expected to remain closed through the end of the week.
The Texas Department of Transportation told the Victoria Advocate that “The latest the lanes will be closed is about Friday.”
The Victoria County Sheriff’s office shared the following traffic advisory on Facebook on Tuesday: “Due to the load weighing in at almost 2 million pounds, large capacity cranes must be brought to the scene in order to extract the load from its current position. Texas Department of Transportation has placed sign boards south of Bloomington and at Hwy 185 and FM 1686 providing instruction about detour routes.
-If you are travelling towards Victoria from any location near or south of Hwy 35, please take Hwy 35 to Hwy 87, instead of using Hwy 185. -If you are travelling from the area of Bloomington, use FM 616 to cross over to Hwy 87, as the onramp at Placedo is a safer option than crossing Hwy 87 at FM 1686.
-FM 1686 should only be used by motorists who work or live in that general area. By following this route advice, much of the delay and frustration can be avoided. While we know that this blockage is an inconvenience, we ask that motorists be patient and courteous.”