A Killeen man faces manslaughter charges following a two semi-truck collision on U.S. 59 near the Department of Public Safety Weigh Station Thursday.
“The truck trucker made a U-turn ... and hit another head-on,” DPS Sgt. Stephen Woodard, spokesman for the area, said. The crash took place about 6:20 p.m.
William Coulter, 65, of North Carolina in a 2006 International truck did not survive the impact.
Driving a 1995 Freightliner, 44-year-old Ariel Hernandez Marin of 2304 Goode Circle in Killeen reportedly tried to turn northbound while in the southbound lanes.
“Basically, (Marin) drove north the wrong way where it was clearly marked,” Woodard said.
“My daughter and son-in-law barely missed being involved in this; the 18-wheeler was going northbound in the southbound lane,” Jeanie Kubenka said on social media. “He honked his horn at them. We were not far behind them so she called to warn us and it happened just before we got there. Very scary.”
Emergency responders raced to the scene, shutting down U.S. 59.
“It was horrific, pipe had come off of the trailer and (the) truck was jackknifed,” Helen Gilbreath told sheriff officials on social media. “I’ve lived in Wharton for seven years and have seen a lot of wrecks in that same spot. That curve is misleading and a lot sharper than it looks ... easy to misjudge it ... so sad ... prayers for all involved.”
Marin posted a $75,000 bond and was released the next day. If convicted, he faces two to 20 years in prison.