Two 18 Wheelers Versus 1 Car, Car Driver Survives (truck drivers unharmed), LIVINGSTON, March 21, 2016 - At 11:12 am on March 21, 2016, an 18 wheeler driven by Erik Lopez, 23, of Houston, was north-bound on US-59 a short distance south of the Livingston City Limits. Lopez attempted a right turn onto a dirt road (from the shoulder of 59). When Lopez turned right, he swung out back into the slow lane. Lopez's trailer was struck from behind by a blue 2014 Dodge Dart driven by Joe Thomas, 68, of Goodrich. The impact caused Thomas' vehicle to move into the fast lane (left lane) where he was struck from behind by another 18 wheeler driven by Sonam Payta, 39, of Ontario, Canada. The second impact caused Thomas' vehicle to come to rest on the right side of the pavement. Payta came to a stop in the right lane, Lopez completed his turn and stopped on the unpaved road that he was trying to turn onto. Americare Ambulance Service was dispatched to the scene along with Deputies Terry Valka and Ronald Bogany with the Polk County Sheriff's Office and Corporal Ramey Bass with the Texas Highway Patrol. Bass would soon be joined by other Troopers including Chad Seamans, Chris Cain, and Kevin Burman. Erik Lopez and Sonam Payta were physically okay. Joe Thomas was shaken up. Thomas was transported by ambulance to CHI Livingston Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Traffic on 59 North was partially blocked during investigation and cleanup. Lopez was cited for changing lanes while unsafe. A rollback wrecker from Ken's Towing recovered Thomas' vehicle and it will be stored at Harrison Body Shop in Livingston. The two 18 wheelers were driven from the scene.
68 year old Joe Thomas' 2014 Dodge Dart shows heavy damage after he slammed into the rear half of an 18 wheeler.
Thomas' vehicle was slammed in the rear by a second 18 wheeler.
Bystanders provided Thomas a chair to sit in while he waited for EMS personnel (Thomas had his dog passenger, "Lilly" with him in the car).
23 year old Erik Lopez, of Houston, was cited for chaning lanes while unsafe. Lopez pulled his rig onto this dirt road after allegedly causing the accident.
Light damage shows where Lopez's trailer was impacted by Thomas' car.
39 year old Sonam Payta, of Ontario, Canada was driving this 18 wheeler that struck Thomas' car from behind when Thomas was forced into the other lane by the initial impact with Lopez (hope everyone can keep track of this).
Thomas' vehicle was recovered by Ken's Towing.
The Great Houdini assisted with towing duties.
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