A man from Texas and another from Oklahoma were killed in a fatal truck crash southwest of Wichita Falls on U.S. 277. Investigators believe that Jerry Jones of Noble, Oklahoma, veered into the path of an oncoming truck, causing a fatal head-on collision that resulted in an explosive fire.
Noble was driving a pickup pulling a flatbed trailer, heading south on 277 when he crossed into the path of Kermith Johnson of Abilene who was driving a tanker truck loaded with lube oil. The tanker truck jackknifed on 277, blocking traffic for several hours while the oil-fed blaze burned and crews worked to clean the hazardous material from the roadway.
Another truck driver informed investigators that Jones first hit his truck carrying a load of pipe before the head-on collision with the tanker truck. The driver of the truck hauling pipe was not injured in the truck accident.
There is no indication as to why Jones crossed into oncoming traffic, triggering the deadly truck crash. Witnesses report that a minivan may also have been involved in the crash, but there are currently no details on the role it played in the crash or the extent of its involvement.
Both men will be examined at the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office. It is possible that 56-year-old Jones suffered a medical event just before the crash that allowed him to lose control of his truck and cross into the path of the tanker truck. Investigators will also be examining what is left of the two trucks after the post-collision fire to determine whether maintenance issues contributed to the deadly North Texas truck wreck.
Source: Times Record, “Men killed in U.S. 277 wreck ID’d,” May 11, 2013