According to witnesses, they observed a red Chevrolet pickup truck traveling east on SH 105 bypass that veered into the westbound lane striking an 18 wheeler’s front left fender and cab. The 18 wheeler was pulling a trailer with a very large load. Witnesses also stated the 18 wheelers “burst into flames upon impact of the crash”. The driver of the 18 wheeler was able to immediately escape the burning cab. According to witnesses “the pickup truck’s engine was seen flying into the air and landing approximately 20 yards away down an embankment.
Upon emergency personnel’s arrival, they immediately attempted to extinguish the flames
from the 18 wheeler. According to emergency personnel, the lone occupant of the red truck (driver) appeared to be entrapped and had signs of critical injuries. The driver of the red truck appeared to have succumbed to his injuries from the impact of the crash.
Liberty County Justice of the Peace Pct. #6 Ralph Fuller pronounced the driver of the red truck deceased and ordered an autopsy. The deceased has been identified as James Wesley Pillow, age 39, of Cleveland, Tx.
The Cleveland Police Department with the assistance of the Texas Department of Public Safety troopers investigated the crash. Texas SH 105 bypass was shut down for around eight hours as Hazmat clean-up crews, along with Tx Dot finished around 9:00 p.m. before the bypass was safe to re-open for normal travel.
The red 2012 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by the deceased was later confirmed to be stolen out of the State of Florida.