Water filtration truck overturns on US 59; 2 taken to hospital

Traffic was reduced to one lane on northbound U.S. 59 near the rest stop outside Victoria after a truck overturned Thursday morning.

Brent McKinney, 45, of Pensacola, Fla., was following the truck's driver back to Florida from a job in Tilden, where he and two colleagues were working on water filtration projects for fracking.

McKinney began to brake as chunks of tire flew from the truck. He watched as his coworker tried to correct the steering and eventually flipped.

The driver, Sammie Lee Johnson Jr., 60, and passenger Robert Eugene Cook Jr., 49, both of Pensacola, Fla., were transported to Citizens Medical Center. Both were treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

"I was praying, hoping they wouldn't hit that guard rail," McKinney said. "I wasn't thinking. I was just going off pure instinct."

The wreck occurred about 11:40 a.m., just north of the rest stop on U.S. Highway 59.

"My heart is still racing," McKinney said a short time later. "You never know when you run up to something like that what you're going to see."

The driver of the truck was trapped upside down in his seatbelt, and the truck began leaking fuel.

Johnson suffered a significant laceration to the elbow.

"I jumped in with my pocketknife and cut him free," McKinney said.

He is thankful for the two off-duty nurses and an off-duty police officer who were driving by and stopped to assist.

"Everything worked out, somewhat," he said.

He has a massive generator on the back of the truck that kept the cab largely intact.

The Department of Public Safety investigated the wreck.