Fiery big rig crash on Highway 281, Hildebrand causes traffic headaches

Fire out, no injuries, cleanup could take hours

SAN ANTONIOUpdated at 6 p.m.:

TxDOT officials said they hope to reopen the highway around 8 p.m.

Stay with KSAT on air and online for the latest on the traffic situation.

Updated at 2:18 p.m.:

San Antonio police said the ramp from Interstate 35 to Highway 281 north and the ramp from Highway 281 South at Jones Maltsberger will be closed during rush hour. 

Please avoid the area and find an alternative route. 

Updated at 1:37 p.m.:

San Antonio police said Highway 281 North at at St. Mary's and Hildebrand and Highway 281 South at Jones Maltsberger remain closed. 

Police urge drivers to stay away from the area and choose an alternate route.

The area is expected to be closed for several hours while TxDOT inspects damage to overhead signs.

UPDATE: Northbound lanes at US 281 are still closed at Hildebrand. The closure could last for several hours.

An 18 wheeler lost control and hit the median before colliding with two light poles, according to SAPD officer Doug Greene.

One of the light poles struck a pick up truck though no injuries have been reported.

Slick conditions appear to be a factor in the accident and signage over 281 was damaged in the resulting fire.

Police are expecting the clean up to take several hours and advise motorists to take the long way.

“Utilize the loops,” Green said, referring to loop 410 and 1604.

Original story:

Vehicles traveling along Highway 281 near Hildebrand are asked to use caution due to a fiery rollover crash involving what appears to be a big rig.

There are currently no reported injuries.

The fire has spread to both north and southbound lanes.

This story is developing.

A woman who witnessed the crash told KSAT she was driving directly behind a vehicle that crashed into the guardrail.

She said she immediately called 911 and watched three men, whom she identified as plumbers on their way to work, step into action and break the window to pull the driver to safety.

"They saved his life. By the time fire/police had arrived the vehicle was fully involved. If it weren’t for those men he would have burned to death," she said.

San Antonio Police Department confirmed that a "good Samaritan broke the window and pulled the driver of the 18-wheeler out of the window before the truck was fully engulfed."

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Photo Courtesy: Gil Juarez.


About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.