According to information from DPS, a truck driver named Frank Cdansky, 47, of La Vernia and a trainee named Henry Cortez, 52, of The Woodlands, were traveling south in an 18-wheeler on US Highway 181 at about 4:10 p.m. when a tire blowout caused the truck to cross the center line striking a truck that was traveling in the northbound lane.
The accident happened near the intersection of US Highway 181 and County Road 143 which is about four miles north of Pettus.
Having crossed the center line, the truck collided with a truck owned by United Vision of Houston which was being driven by Gabriel Carlos, 44, of Houston.
The impact sent the truck, which is owned by Big Rig Tankers of The Woodlands, into the path of a third 18-wheeler owned by D Truck Leasing of New Braunfels driven by Bonisacia Campos, 38, of Austin. The resulting collision sent it in the direction of the bar ditch. The truck rolled over and caused flammable and potentially explosive condensate liquids to spill from the tank that the truck was hauling.
Numerous emergency workers responded to the scene, including the Karnes City Fire Department’s Rescue 1 truck which used jaws of life and other extraction equipment to free the two men from the wreckage of the truck cab.
After about an hour, the two men were transported to University Hospital in San Antonio by helicopter.
Traffic was detoured around the site of the crash for about 11 hours until the highway was cleared around 3 a.m. Thursday morning, May 17.