A southbound 18-wheeler loaded with bottled drinks ran off I-45 southbound at the 125-mile marker Saturday evening. The truck left the road and slammed into a pine tree. The driver was transported by Air Medical in critical condition. At 9 pm crews remain on the scene for cleanup. Traffic southbound is extremely heavy and is backed up for miles.
To avoid the traffic exit FM 2989 and turn right to US 75. Then left and travel south about 12 miles to FM 1696. Turn left and travel back to the freeway.