Willis Police and Fire were dispatched to a major accident on Interstate 45 southbound at the FM 1097 exit ramp at 6:08p.m. Thursday evening. When they arrived the freeway was at a stand still.
An empty tank truck owned by Sun Coast Resources and driven by Thomas Cadena of Montgomery was southbound when a car suddenly stopped in front of him. Hitting the brakes his rig started to jack-knife taking him from the left lane to the right lane. At that point a U-Haul rental truck driven by 33-year-old Josh Goggins of the Woodlands made contact and slammed into the retaining barrels at the beginning of the exit ramp. This snapped the cable on them shooting three of them across the freeway.
The contact made the truck completely jack-knife at which point a 1995 Chevrolet Cargo van driven by Miguel Mendoza, age 46 of Houston struck the left front of the tractor. Mendoza was transported to Conroe Regional Hospital in stable condition. His passenger Urbano Garcia, age 32, of Houston was transported to Conroe Regional in critical condition and later transported to Ben Taub in Houston for surgery.
The driver of the 18-wheeler was uninjured but the driver of the U-Haul Truck was transported to Conroe Regional in stable condition.
This being a construction area it was hard to clear the scene in a timely fashion. Heavy Duty wreckers had to be called in. Fighting traffic from South Montgomery County and then having to work their way into the scene. There were two lanes only with no shoulders and concrete walls on both sides. Another wrecker was called for the van. TXDOT was notified and responded to repair the damage to the road surface and remove the barrier barrels and place cones up. DPS assisted in the investigation of the accident.
As this scene tied most of the Willis Police units up Montgomery County assisted in responding to additional calls coming in through the dispatcher in Willis.
The scene was finally cleared at 10:45 p.m.