LEON COUNTY, Texas — A fatal highway crash involving an 18-wheeler has left one dead and three hospitalized, officials said.
Around 3:20 p.m. Tuesday, two drivers had stopped on the improved northbound shoulder on Interstate Highway 45 at the 157-mile post, due to a minor crash, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The two vehicles involved were a 2021 Toyota passenger car and a 2021 Chevrolet pickup.
With emergency personnel already onsite, a 2016 International 18-wheeler traveling northbound approached the crash, colliding with both vehicles.
The impact caused the 18-wheeler to overturn on top of the 2021 Toyota passenger car, killing the driver and injuring two Centerville volunteer firefighters, Texas DPS said.
The driver of the Toyota, Jocelyn Ortega, 27, of Dallas, was pronounced dead on the scene by Leon County Justice of the Peace Jack Keeling.
Firefighter Colten Adams, 21, of Centerville, was taken by medical helicopter to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple with serious injuries.
Firefighter Clinton Franklin, 46, of Centerville, was taken by medical helicopter to St. Joseph Health Regional Hospital – Bryan with serious injuries.
Emergency personnel had their red and blue lights activated at the time, Texas DPS said.
The driver of the International 18-wheeler, Thomas Roberts, 55, of Houston, sustained non-incapacitating injuries and was transported to CHI Madisonville.
Meanwhile, the driver of the 2021 Chevrolet pickup, Lindsay Vermillion, 31, of Dallas, sustained non-incapacitating injuries and was transported to CHI Madisonville.
The investigation remains active and is ongoing.