Aransas Pass man injured
by Kenda Nelson
Apr 19, 2012 | 3364 views | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Ford Ranger driven by Valdemar Espinosa of Aransas Pass was destroyed when the driver  collided with the refrigeration truck above loaded with oysters on U.S. 35 just before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
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The driver of a Ford Ranger was flown by air ambulance to a Corpus Christi trauma center Tuesday following a collision with an 18-wheeler on U.S. 35 south of Tivoli.

Valdemar Espinoza, 50, suffered serious injuries and was flown by air ambulance to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital.

DPS Trooper Andrew Smith, who investigated the accident, said Espinoza was severely injured but was stable when he was transported.

Kenneth Huggins, 53, the driver of the 18-wheeler, sustained no major injuries and was walking around following the accident.

The trooper said Espinoza was traveling south on U.S. 35 and drove slightly into the northbound lane.

“He made contact with the semi’s left side causing the left back tire to blow,” Smith said. “The red truck rotated, then flipped twice, landing on its top.”

The refrigeration truck’s front left tire blew out, according to the trooper.

“The semi skidded into the ditch,” Smith said. “When the tires hit the wet dirt, the semi flipped onto its side.”

The truck was hauling a load of live oysters to Melbourne, Fla. Huggins had just recently picked up the oysters at Fulton Prestige Oysters.

The driver of the semi said was still shaken by the wreck.

“This is my first accident,” he said.

Allan’s Wrecker Service out of Victoria placed air bags under the truck late Tuesday night in an attempt to remove the loaded refrigeration truck from the mud.

The effort was complicated by standing water and mud caused by torrential rains that fell in the county Monday, along with the weight of the oysters.