LEWISVILLE — A fiery wreck involving an 18-wheeler, two trucks and a pickup left a tangled mess of traffic on northbound Highway 121 just northeast of Interstate 35E Thursday afternoon.
Three vehicles were destroyed, but miraculously, no one was seriously hurt.
Investigators said it all started with a 50-yard slide by the 18-wheeler which jackknifed when it apparently tried to avoid hitting a North Texas Tollway Authority dump truck that was changing lanes.
The dump truck, the semi and a pickup truck all caught fire. Just before the cab of the 18-wheeler crashed through a guardrail of the overpass, its driver jumped to safety — ironic because of what he was hauling.
"The truck tractor's semi trailer is leased to a company called Leap of Faith out of Fort Worth," said DPS Trooper Lonny Haschel. "He was hauling 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken."
The 18-wheeler's cab dangled from the Highway 121 overpass as flames shot out from the remains of the debris. The smoke and fire could be seen more than 20 miles from the site of the accident.
Three other people in the other vehicles also got away from the wreckage and the fire. One person was taken to a hospital, but only as a precaution.
"This could have been a really horrific accident," Haschel said.
All four northbound lanes and two southbound lanes of Highway 121 were shut down at 5 p.m. Officials said it could be late Thursday before the toll road reopens.
Before that can happen, engineers must inspect the overpass for structural integrity.