Major crash shuts down I-45

Three vehicles including 2 big rigs involved; 2 men seriously injured

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
This still from an aerial video shows a tractor-trailer that was involved in a four-vehicle crash on northbound Interstate 45 near the Alma community. The Texas Department of Public Safety said late Thursday that no fatalities resulted.

A major crash involving a tractor-trailer and two other vehicles on Interstate 45 shut down the northbound lane for hours near Alma on Thursday.

No one was killed in the accident. The Texas Department of Public Safety had originally reported one fatality, but DPS Sgt. Sara Warren provided an update Thursday night correcting that information.

Preliminary investigation indicates a grey 1991 Ford F150 pickup was traveling north on the east, I-45 service road. For an as yet undetermined reason, Warren said, the driver of the Ford veered off the service road, crossed the grassy median and traveled onto I-45 where it struck a 2016 Peterbilt truck.

After impact, a passenger in the Ford was ejected prior to the pickup rolling over and the driver being ejected. Also after impact, the Peterbilt swerved to the left and sideswiped a 1997 Kenworth truck.

The driver of the Ford, 49-year-old Frankie Pittman of Ennis, and the passenger, 45-year-old Eric Gainus of Ennis, were each flown by air ambulance to Baylor Hospital in Dallas with serious injuries. The driver of the Peterbilt, 64-year-old Jose Ramirez of Dallas and the driver of the Kenworth, 34-year-old Taylor Danan of Crowley, were both uninjured in the crash.

The crash happened at about 1:35 p.m. in the northbound lanes of I-45 just north of Whitfill Road near FM 1182, about four miles north of the Navarro County line.

Traffic was forced off onto the service road, and the backup stretched for several miles while the accident was cleaned up.