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Al Key - DRC

Truck overturns at I-35 and U.S. 380

An 18-wheeler carrying an estimated 48,000 pounds of baking flour overturned earlier today on Interstate 35 in north Denton, severely injuring the driver and backing up traffic for hours.

The driver, Mike Jensen of Fort Worth, 68, was in the intensive care unit at Denton Regional Medical Center with undisclosed injuries, according to a manager at the scene.

Ryan Grelle, spokesman for Denton police, said they received a 911 call at 5:30 a.m. in reference to an 18-wheeler that rolled onto its side on northbound I-35, just north of U.S. Highway 380.

Jensen, he said, was removed from the cab of the truck and taken to the hospital by the Denton Fire Department.

Witnesses informed officers that they had seen another 18-wheeler blocking all lanes of north bound traffic for some reason before the accident and the driver was able to move his 18-wheeler around the trailer, police said.

Grelle said as Jensen was going around the possible jackknifed trailer, the right side tires got too far into the ditch and caused his truck to roll onto its right side.

Three wreckers were called in to pull the truck upright from where it sat on its side in a bar ditch about a quarter of a mile north of the U.S. 380 overpass.

An initial attempt to pull it up failed as officials on scene stopped traffic on the interstate. One lane of traffic was open on the left shoulder except when the wreckers were attempting to pull up the truck. The truck was finally pulled upright shortly after noon, almost six hours after the initial accident was reported.

Officials were on scene, including Denton firefighters and state transportation employees, to ensure no ruptures occurred or sparks flew when the truck was pulled up.

The flour, estimated to be worth around $100,000, remained inside the trailer after the accident and did not spill when the wreckers turned the truck upright.

The truck, owned by Spur Transit Inc. in Saginaw, was taking the flour to a Marietta, Okla., cookie company.

Police are continuing to investigate the cause of the accident.

Staff report