PAIGE, Texas (KXAN) — A crash between a semi and a box truck killed one man on US Highway 290 in Paige, Texas, east of FM 2104.
All lanes of US 290 are back open after the road was shutdown for six hours while crews worked to clear the massive amount of debris left behind. The Department of Public Safety was notified about the crash around 5:19 a.m. The two trucks were in a head-on collision between Giddings and Paige, according to DPS.
One of the trucks was a Ryder freight-liner carrying seafood. The other was a Peterbilt Towing truck carrying lime. The driver of the Ryder truck, identified as Pascual Rueda-Orozco, 42, was traveling westbound on 290 and crossed over into the eastbound lanes.
Rueda-Orozco died at the scene. The 63-year-old Peterbilt driver was taken to the hospital by STARFlight.
“We had a Ryder truck that was going westbound and for some unknown reason, the driver of that truck went into the eastbound lane of traffic, striking a tanker head-on,” said Sgt. Robbie Barrera, with DPS Texas Highway Patrol.
While law enforcement is still investigating the cause of the crash, DPS says the crash is an important reminder that drivers should stay alert behind the wheel, no matter the circumstances.
Sgt. Barrera told KXAN that DPS doesn’t want to have to work crashes like this one, saying drivers can prevent certain dangerous interactions on area roadways.
“When you’re driving out here, make sure you limit your distraction, especially early in the morning. I believe this crash happened at 5 a.m. It’s still a little dark outside,” said Sgt. Barrera. “Don’t be on your cell phone, make sure you’re paying attention to your driving, [and] don’t be eating or reaching for anything.”
In March, TxDOT said they would spend $2 million to make several safety improvements on US 290 in Bastrop County. The money would go towards funding seven projects aimed at increasing visibility and warning advisories for drivers.