Nation & World

Again? Yet another giant spool falls off truck and rolls down a busy Houston highway

For the third time since Oct. 25, a giant industrial spool has fallen off a truck and rolled down a busy Houston highway. Transportation officials say overheight trucks keep hitting overpasses. (ABC 13 screengrab)
For the third time since Oct. 25, a giant industrial spool has fallen off a truck and rolled down a busy Houston highway. Transportation officials say overheight trucks keep hitting overpasses. (ABC 13 screengrab)

Houston is on a roll.

For the third time since Oct. 25, a giant industrial spool fell off a truck and rolled down a busy Houston highway, scaring drivers in its path.

One of them was a bus driver taking a group of about 25 kids on a field trip to the Holocaust Museum on Friday morning, according to ABC 13 Houston.

”When you’re taking a group of students, you don’t expect a Ferris wheel to come right at you,” Laura Hogan, principal of Mirus Academy, told the TV station.

”The bus driver let out a loud ‘yelp’ and started to slam on the brakes. I thought we were about to get in a wreck, so I braced myself and looked up about to see a wreck going to happen, but what I saw was a gigantic spool.”

ABC 13 reported that the spool fell off an 18-wheeler.

It was the third recent “spool incident” in Houston, the trucking news website, CDL Life, reported. A truck lost a spool on I-10 on Oct. 25, and then two others rolled off a truck on the same highway on Nov. 12, according to the website.

“The Texas Department of Transportation says that overheight loads hitting overpasses has become a major problem in Houston,” CDL reports.

The spool that took a spin in October did a slow roll toward oncoming traffic, KHOU reported at the time. One driver who posted video could be heard yelling: “Oh my God I’ve never seen anything like it. That’s insane,” according to the TV station.

When Marie Cervantez saw that behemoth spool of fiber optic cable rolling toward her on the highway in October, she thought she was going to die.

She was driving a Volkswagen Beetle at the time.

The spool hit her back bumper, she told ABC 13.

”Luckily, nobody got hit from that. Everybody stopped. But I kept going! Because I didn’t know it hit me, until I noticed it,” she told the TV station. ”I’m not afraid to die, but I don’t want to die like that.”

She warned fellow drivers to put down their phones and stop texting because they might not see a giant spool rolling at them, she told ABC 13.

Driving is second nature to many of us, but dangers still exist on the roadways. Kyle McNew of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service provides three simple tips for driving safely and avoiding traffic accidents.

In that October incident, Houston police ticketed the driver, who didn’t know how tall his truck was, the ABC station reported.

A few weeks later, another truck hauling giant spools hit the same railroad bridge on I-10, and two spools rolled onto the road, according to Click 2 Houston. Police cited that driver, too, for having a load that was over-height, the station reported.

Highway patrol officials told Click 2 that dangerous debris falling onto Houston highways has become so serious that they’re cracking down on truck drivers who don’t safely tie down their loads.

The trucker involved in the Friday incident will likely be ticketed, too, police told ABC 13.

The situation unspooling on Houston’s highways has grabbed the attention of local drivers.

“Spool me once, shame on me,” tweeted one driver. “Spool me twice, shame on you. Spool me thrice, shame on HOU.”

  Comments