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Big-rig driver has no memory of destructive South Side crash, police say

18-wheeler drives off I-35 near Malone Avenue, narrowly misses homes

SAN ANTONIO – A man driving an 18-wheeler that barreled off a South Side highway toward some homes Thursday morning told San Antonio police that he has no memory of the crash.

Although officers interviewed the driver after the crash, they did not file any charges against him, according to a sergeant at the scene.

Police said witnesses told them they saw the big rig sideswipe another 18-wheeler that was disabled and idling in the emergency lane of Interstate 35 South, just south of Malone Avenue.

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The first truck then ran off the highway and across the access road, clipped the roof of a home on nearby Teresa Street, slammed into a parked car, cut a tree in half and plowed toward a second home, police said.

Jose Madrigal, who lives in the second home, had just gotten up  around 5 a.m. to get ready for work.

"I heard, like, a rumble. Boom! Boom!" he said. "And then I saw lights coming through. I got up and ran to the other room."

Madrigal quickly scrambled to get out of the way.  

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The truck stopped just a few feet from his front door.

Meanwhile, outside Eric Duarte's home, the truck left a clear-cut path of destruction.

"My aunt's car is gone, half our oak tree is gone. And, of course, the (wheelchair) ramp is gone," Duarte said while surveying the damage.

When the truck brushed past the edge of his home, it also tore some of the shingles off his roof. 

Duarte said his cousin was sleeping in a bedroom on the other side of the wall.

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"It missed him by inches, literally," Duarte said. "It clipped the house where he sleeps."

Somehow, everyone involved escaped injury, including the driver.

The accident shut down the I-35 South access road for several hours during the morning commute.


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