(From left) DPS Troopers, Darwon Evans, Brent Murray, and Chris Stanbery
Driver On 59 Takes Out Light Pole, Rushed to Hospital, LEGGETT, July 7, 2008 - The driver of a Pickup took out a light pole at the entrance of the rest area on 59 south just north of Leggett. Shortly after 11 pm on July 6, 2008 Ryan Christopher Melton, of Livingston, apparently feel asleep at the wheel of his red Ford F-150 pickup while south-bound on US-59 just north of Leggett. The truck veered off the highway and slammed into a light pole that helps light up the rest area. The impact occurred on the driver's side rear section of the truck's cab. The truck then rolled down an embankment and into the weeds where it came to rest. The light pole fell down across the right lane of 59 and a 2006 red Dodge Durango driven by Brian Duelm of the Woodlands ran over the sudden and unavoidable light pole. The impact of the light pole on Duelm's vehicle blew out his front and rear tires on the passenger's side of his vehicle. Duelm (who was with his wife, Julie and their two sons) pulled over onto the shoulder of 59. DPS troopers Darwon Evans, Brent Murray, and Chris Stanbery were dispatched to the scene of the accident. Melton was transported to Livingston Memorial Hospital by Americare Ambulance Service. Duelm and is family were unhurt, but their vehicle was disabled and had to be towed. The troopers teamed up and muscled the metal light pole out of the road. Traffic was not blocked while the accident was being investigated and cleared. A short time later, Polk County Sheriff Deputy Billy Duke briefly appeared at the scene of the accident. All drivers had insurance. Melton's truck was towed by a rollback wrecker from Riley's Towing and recovery. The scene was cleared out shortly after 1 am.