He was expected to be flown to a Corpus Christi hospital by a HALO-Flight helicopter for treatment of severe head and facial injuries later that day.
Highway Patrol Trooper Lyle Cram said Rene Morales was eastbound on FM Road 799 late Thursday morning when he failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of FM 673.
Cram said Morales was not wearing a seat belt when the truck sped across FM 673 and slammed into a hump.
Cram said that impact apparently threw Morales out of his seat and into the floor of the vehicle on the passenger side.
“He pretty much went along for the ride,” Cram said.
The vehicle, apparently owned by Jacob Inc. of Fulton, careened across the property of Duane Caruso, traveling between 200 and 300 yards before crashing into the posts which held the home up from the ground.
The cab of the truck was shredded beyond recognition and the first witnesses at the scene said it took them a while to find Morales in the cab.
Caruso, who arrived after law enforcement officers had left the scene, said he and his family had lived in the house since 1986.
When someone mentioned that it was a nice place to live, Caruso shrugged and said, “It was.”
The truck’s flatbed trailer was the only thing holding up about half of the house. A spacious deck on the north side of the home was completely collapsed onto the truck wreckage.
A trail of crank case oil spilled across the grass of Caruso’s property, suggesting that the impact with the hump had cracked the engine’s oil pan.
Wrecker drivers and towing experts were on the scene trying to figure out how to get the truck out from under the house without allowing the structure to collapse.
Bags of a powdery substance were ripped open and their contents dumped all over the scene.
Witnesses said the material was identified as drilling fluid mix.
Personnel from Galvan Towing were at the scene assessing the extent of the cleanup. Galvan has the only tow truck in the area that can handle a job of that size.
No one was at the Caruso home at the time of the crash. No one other the driver suffered any injuries.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.