BEEVILLE – Six people were injured Tuesday shortly before 4 p.m. in a seven-vehicle pileup on U.S. Highway 181, north of Beeville.
The accident was called in to the Bee County Sheriff’s Office at 3:48 p.m., and the dispatcher said at least two and possibly four vehicles were involved. She said one vehicle had overturned.
The scene looked like pandemonium as firefighters from Beeville and Normanna, emergency medical personnel, Highway Patrol troopers and Bee County deputies converged on the accident.
EMS personnel took charge of evacuating the injured, and Angel Care Ambulance Service owners Gabriel Aleman and Mickie Ochoa called in two HALO-Flight helicopters to take two critically injured people to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi.
Troopers Andrew “Drew” Tegemeyer and Kolton Kendall took charge of the accident investigation, but Tegemeyer said it would be some time before the exact cause of the collision could be explained.
“Yeah, we need infrastructure in Texas,” Tegemeyer said, referring to the number of serious accidents that have taken place on U.S. Highway 181, State Highway 72 and State Highway 359 since traffic increased in this area several years ago with the development of the Eagle Ford Shale oil field.
The vehicles involved in the accident included a white Dodge van, a Ford F250 four-door flatbed welding truck, a white Chevrolet Tahoe, a tan Ford pickup, a white Kia Sorento and a white Ford plumbing van.
Most of the vehicles involved in the actual collision apparently were traveling north. At least one and possibly two southbound vehicles were hit by flying debris that was ejected from the bed of the welding truck.
Ochoa said the driver and a passenger in the Tahoe were the most seriously injured. HALO-Flight personnel took both of those victims, a man and a woman, to Corpus Christi for treatment.
The other injured victims were taken to Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville by Angel Care ambulances for treatment of less serious injuries.
More information concerning the cause of the accident should be available later this week.
EMS personnel and deputies said it was fortunate that no one was killed in the accident.
Northbound and southbound traffic was backed up on U.S. 181 for miles until shortly after 5 p.m. when wreckers appeared on the scene and cleared enough to reopen the roadway.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.