Tractor trailer trucks were lined up at least a mile in either direction until Highway Patrol troopers completed their investigation.
Trooper Lyle Cram said the accident occurred at about 6:13 a.m. when a sedan going toward George West slowly veered into oncoming traffic.
Cram said the driver, 40-year-old Javier Melchor Gamez, was pronounced dead at the scene. The trooper said he apparently went to sleep at the wheel.
A Chevrolet pickup headed toward Beeville swerved to miss the sedan and the two vehicles hit, left headlight to left headline, Cram said.
A 2011 International truck driven by David Gonzales, 55, of San Antonio was headed to Beeville right behind the pickup. That vehicle then struck the car as it sat in the highway.
The truck, owned by the Laxson Meat Co., had damage to its right front end.
Cram said the impact broke the Beeville man’s seat belt and knocked him into the car’s back seat. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:47 a.m. by Live Oak County Justice of the Peace Virginia Tanguma of Precinct 2.
Those in the pickup included driver, Benicio Barrera, 38, of Freer, Jason Perez, 29, of Freer, Kyle Massey, 20, of Freer and Alejandro Saucedo, 32, of Midland.
Barrera was flown to an out-of-town hospital by a HALO-Flight helicopter with leg injuries. Perez and Massey had minor facial injuries and Saucedo was not injured.
The normal flow of traffic did not resume until about 8:15 a.m.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.