Spilled gravel leads to injury accident

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Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

An Oklahoma woman was injured Thursday afternoon when her vehicle was hit from behind on U.S. 81/287 near the south Wise County line.

Teresa Humphrey, 37, was traveling southbound on 287 south of Rhome about 3 p.m. in a small sports utility vehicle when she drove into a thick cloud of dust.

A load of gravel had been dropped on the highway, and dust billowed from it severely reducing visibility.

Department of Public Safety Trooper William Wallace said Humphrey panicked and stopped on the center line of the highway. He said she was then hit from behind by an 18-wheeler driven by Ruben Guerra, 49, of Baytown.

“I saw the cloud going up and started downshifting,” Guerra said. “I just held on and hit the brakes as hard as I could.”

Guerra said he was traveling in the lefthand lane, and Humphrey was straddling the center line.

The impact pushed Humphrey’s vehicle across the center median and the northbound lanes. It came to rest just off the shoulder on the northbound side.

Guerra was uninjured, but Humphrey was transported by Wise County medics to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Wallace said her injuries were not life threatening.

She had one passenger, John Humphrey, 38, also of Oklahoma, and he was not injured.

Traffic was reduced to one lane at the accident scene for at least an hour. Texas Department of Transportation was called to clean up the gravel.

Wallace said it was unknown who spilled the gravel. He said Wise County dispatch received a call about a road hazard, and the wreck was reported just a few minutes later.

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