Update: The driver passed away after reaching Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. The name is still being withheld pending the notification of his next of kin.
A 51-year-old Porter man was critically injured Monday after driving off the Trinity River bridge on FM 787 in north Liberty County to avoid an oncoming vehicle.
The Porter man, who is not being identified at this time by authorities, was driving eastbound on FM 787 in a tractor-trailer truck when a white Ford pickup truck reportedly disregarded the traffic lights at the bridge and continued on into oncoming traffic. The traffic signals were put into place months ago due to a washout of the bridge supports and while repairs are underway.
The tractor-trailer driver reportedly took evasive action to avoid a head-on crash with the pickup truck and veered south, sending the tractor-trailer over the guard railings and onto the shoulder below, landing a short distance from the Trinity River.
When asked if the driver of the Ford pickup was arrested, DPS spokesperson Sgt. Rob Willoughby said the driver did not stop after causing the accident, so no arrests have been made at this time.
The accident caused traffic to be at a standstill for a couple of hours while the scene was cleared. Smith Towing of Cleveland recovered the wrecked 18-wheeler.
The accident is being investigated by DPS Cpl. Nathaniel Godfrey.