18-wheeler hits fire truck at accident scene sending 3 to local hospital

An 18-wheeler struck a Belton fire truck and several other vehicles early Tuesday morning at the scene of an earlier accident on Interstate 35, sending three firefighters to a local hospital. (Photo by Megan Vanselow)
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) An 18-wheeler struck a Belton fire truck and several other vehicles early Tuesday morning at the scene of an earlier accident on Interstate 35, sending three firefighters to Scott & White Medical Center with what appeared to be minor injuries, city spokesman Paul Romer said.

The firefighters were treated and later released.

One will miss a few days of work because of a shoulder injury, officials said.

The fire truck is out of commission and fire department officials don't yet know whether it's repairable.

The 18-wheeler was evidently traveling at a speed of around 60 mph when it hit the fire truck on the rear passenger side.

The force of the collision moved the truck over two lanes.

A reserve engine was placed into service to replace the damaged truck.

The accident happened just before 2:30 a.m. Tuesday near the U.S. Highway 190/Interstate 14 overpass on the southbound interstate.

“The fire engine was on the scene blocking off lanes for an earlier wreck when the 18-wheeler struck the engine, a tow truck and a vehicle it was towing,” Romer said.

The three firefighters were in the engine when the 18-wheeler sideswiped it.

The two inside lanes of the highway were blocked as a result of the first accident and authorities were diverting traffic to the right lane when the fire truck was struck.

The driver of the 18-wheeler braked and the rig moved to the left and sideswiped the fire truck, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Ryan Howard said.

The southbound lanes of the highway were closed temporarily after the crash, but have since reopened.

The fire truck received significant damage and was towed from the scene.

A large piece of debris from the crash landed on the northbound side of the highway where another 18-wheeler struck it, causing a small diesel leak.

One northbound lane of the highway was closed to clean up the spill.

Southbound I-35 was temporarily closed following the crash, but has since reopened. The fire engine suffered significant damage and was towed from the scene.

In addition, a large piece of debris from this crash landed on northbound I-35 and was struck by a separate 18-wheeler, which caused a small diesel leak on the roadway. A northbound lane was also temporarily closed to allow for cleanup of the spill.

Following the incident, the Temple Fire Department provided backup coverage in Belton.