Driver Ejected, Killed in Crash on U.S 287

Crash closes all but one lane of U.S. 287

The driver of a big-rig was killed early Thursday after being ejected from the cab of his truck and hit by a passing pickup.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the driver of a big-rig was driving southbound on U.S. 287 south of Rhome when he struck the trailer of another semi that was crossing the southbound lanes at the intersection of 287 and Ramhorn Hill Road.

The driver of the southbound rig lost control of the vehicle and was ejected from the cab.  His rig continued on however, crossing the median and into the northbound lanes of 287 before finally crashing and catching fire on the far side of the highway.

The driver of the truck, whose name has not yet been released, was killed after being struck first by a pickup truck and then a number of other vehicles.  He died at the scene.

The driver of the pickup also lost control of his vehicle, and he also crossed into the northbound lanes of 287 and rolled before coming to a stop about 20 feet from the flaming big rig.  The driver of the pickup truck was transported to an area hospital where his injuries are not considered life-threatening.

The driver of the east-facing big-rig was not injured.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating the crash.

"Out here, it's not like in the Metro are where we have street lights. It's very dark. The only thing we have is moonlight. So it would have been very difficult for anyone to see that person laying in the roadway," said Trooper Lonny Haschel, with the Texas DPS. "So we're going to look at driving conditions, roadway conditions, daylight conditions and then the conditions of the vehicle and the driver before they determine exactly what caused this."

Traffic Update:

The collision closed most of U.S. 287 at Tarrant County/Wise County line Thursday morning while officials cleared the scene and while HAZMAT crews cleaned a fuel spill.  

Commuters were initially advised to take state Highway 114 east to Interstate 35W to bypass the crash, but 114 has also become congested.  Drivers heading into Tarrant County from U.S. 287 or 114 north or west of Rhome are now encouraged to exit either Old Base Road or Farm-to-Market Road 3433.  Both roads will lead to Farm-to-Market Road 718 which will lead to 287 south of the crash.

All lanes were reopened to traffic at about 11 a.m.

NBC 5's Keaton Fox and Samantha Davies contributed to this report.

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