Truck plunges, dumps toilets

Around 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Daniel Garcia of Edinburg, Texas was northbound on US 59, just north of the Montgomery County line when he changed lanes to avoid striking another truck. His trailer ran up onto the guardrail. Guided by that, Garcia traveled to the end of the East Fork of the San Jacinto River Bridge.

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Garcia said at that point everything seemed to be in slow motion. He was able to release the steering wheel, lock the seatbelt and brace himself as the truck plunged over the bridge. Landing some 20 feet below, the truck struck a large body of water. Garcia smelled the leaking 370 gallons of diesel as he crawled out of the damaged truck.

Crews worked most of the day to unload almost 500 commodes and toilet seats from the truck by hand, before trying to remove the truck .

Smith Towing of Cleveland started to slowly slide the truck up to the opposite side of the freeway, and then slowly dragged it to the crossover where they attempted to set it upright.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and Cleveland Fire Department closed the southbound lane and the effort lasted for hours.

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