Photo Courtesy of Livingston Volunteer Fire Department.
Fiery Trucking Accident in Seven Oaks, SEVEN OAKS, August 4, 2008 - At approximately 6:30 am a tanker truck was north-bound on 59 in the right lane in Seven Oaks and slowed down to turn into the Exxon on the right side of the highway. When the tanker truck slowed down an oncoming 18 wheeler with Penske Leasing coming from Harlingen and hauling radio and auto electronics was coming too fast and could not slow down in time and clipped the back of the tanker. The tanker was not full and only had residual "cut oil" inside, and pulled over to the right of the highway and parked in a parking lot. The truck hauling the electronics came to a rest in the median in the center of the highway and caught fire. Within minutes, the tractor trailer was completely engulfed in flames. The driver, Jesus Gomez, and his passenger were able to get out of the truck. Both had serious injuries. The driver of the tanker was physically okay. Volunteer firemen from Livingston, Scenic Loop, and Onalaska fire departments arrived to put out the raging inferno. DPS Troopers Sam Lattner, Larry Pitts, Bobby Perry, and Darwon Evans were dispatched to the scene. Also at the scene were Polk County Sheriff's Deputies James Romero and Chris Lima. All traffic on both sides of 59 was blocked as the scene was being investigated and cleared. A short time later, Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator Ken Hambrick arrived, and representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation. The cab of the truck was burned down to nothing more than the frame and the engine. Debris from the burning truck was scattered all around the chaotic scene. The tanker truck sustained heavy rear-end damage. Two Americare Ambulances were at the scene treating the two men who were occupants of the tractor trailer. Gomez was life-flighted from the scene by a P.H.I. Medical helicopter to Hermann Hospital in Houston, while his passenger was transported by ambulance to Livingston Memorial Hospital. Heavy construction equipment was brought in by TxDOT to clear the wreckage. Traffic was fully flowing once again at around 8 am.