MOFFATT (July 10, 2013)—A big-rig driver from Pampa died Tuesday night in a fiery crash near the long bridge on State Highway 36 at Burgundy Lane near Lake Belton.
(Photo courtesy of Linda Wooley)
A Department of Public Safety trooper identified the driver as Tracy Lee Meeks, 69.
Bell County Justice of the Peace G.W. Ivey pronounced Meeks dead at the scene and had his body taken to Temple Mortuary.
The trooper said at about 8 p.m. Tuesday Meeks was driving westbound on Highway 36 when he was evidently blinded by the sun, ran into safety barrels on the side of the highway, and then crashed into the bridge guardrail.
The truck tractor burst into flames and Meeks was unable to escape the fire.
The truck cab was so badly burned troopers could not say with certainty whether Meeks was wearing a seat belt.
The 18-wheeler was hauling molasses, which spilled all over the highway.
The westbound lanes of Highway 36 were closed for several hours while crews from the Texas Department of Transportation cleaned up the spill.
The exact of the cause of the crash remains under investigation.