Massive pileup closes Texas 73, over 40 injured

Published 10:01 am Thursday, January 5, 2012

A massive pileup west of Port Arthur at approximately 5:40 a.m. Thursday led to the closure of Texas 73. Over 40 vehicles including an 18-wheeler carrying hazardous materials were involved in the wreck, according to Chief Charles Sonnier with the Labelle-Fannett Volunteer Fire Department.

“No one could see anything and it caused one chain reaction after another,” said Rod Carroll, spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

By 6:30 a.m. the fog and smoke had cleared and emergency personnel were able to work more efficiently to clean up the scene.

“There were no fatalities. Thank god everybody stayed in their cars,” said  Carroll.

Four people were transported with serious injuries, three by emergency air lift and 15 people were carried by ambulance to area hospitals with serious to moderate injuries said Sonnier. Additional people injured on scene were transported by bus to receive treatment.

At least 41 people were injured in the wreck.

“Every hospital in the area received at least 10 patients,” said Sonnier

One vehicle caught on fire during the incident but was quickly extinguished to prevent fire spreading to surrounding vehicles.

Port Arthur, Winnie and Labelle-Fannett Fire Departments respond to the scene along with Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Department of Transportation officials.

Texas 73 has since reopended.

According to Sonnier there was a wreck previously at about the same location approximately three years ago.