Severe storms cause 18-wheeler to topple off Houston freeway after hydroplaning

An 18-wheeler fell from an overpass Thursday after hydroplaning in Pasadena, and crews with the Houston Fire Department spent hours battling a large fire, possibly started by lightning, that destroyed one building.

HOUSTON – Storms that rolled through the Houston area caused havoc on Thursday afternoon.

Pasadena police are now investigating after an 18-wheeler fell from an overpass Thursday. Also, crews with the Houston Fire Department spent hours battling a large fire that destroyed one building.

"It looked like a movie. I was in shock," says Prisco Saldivar, a fellow truck driver whose dash cam caught the moment an 18-wheeler went down.

Saldivar said he was in shock after witnessing the moment when it went over. Police say, it was carrying human waste. 

"While I was driving, I noticed there was an 18-wheeler parked on the freeway. Then all of a sudden, I saw the other tractor-trailer started spinning," says Saldivar. "It literally tilted up, and the driver flew out the window on the road."


The Pasadena Police Department says the commercial 18-wheeler was traveling eastbound on 225 at Red Bluff.

Investigators say, both vehicles hydroplaned, made contact, and one pushed the other one up and over the guard rail.

We’re told the driver bailed from the vehicle, but it is unclear if he jumped or was thrown. He was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries. 

"In my eyes, I would like to tell him, he’s been touched by God. When I saw it flip, and he flew out the door or window," says Saldivar. "I even saw him get up and hold his back, he leaned back and started walking, it was incredible."

Further to the east, Houston firefighters worked to battle an apartment fire, believed to have been started by lightning. Officials say there were reports of heavy lightning in the area. 

As crews arrived at the Clear Lake Apartments, they were met with massive flames. 

Clear Creek ISD tells FOX 26 they have about 52 students who live at that apartment complex and have activated their emergency resource. There were no reports of any injuries in connection to the fire. 

The FOX Forecast Center has been tracking storms across Texas bringing potential drought relief. About 93% of the Lone Star state is under drought conditions, with more than 50% of Texas under extreme and exceptional drought. Storms associated with a cold front will also bring the threat of flooding. 

Over the next five days, over 5 inches of rain is forecast from Central Texas to North Texas.

Rain is in the forecast over the next 7 days for Dallas with Sunday and Monday being the wettest days.