The truck was headed south on Interstate 45 when it suddenly left the roadway, Harris County deputies said.
The driver crashed into the guardrail, a grassy area and a tree. Authorities said the impact sheared open the trailer portion of the 18-wheeler, spilling empty Bud Light beer cans.
@HCSOTexas units are at a major crash involving an 18-wheeler that jackknifed and the driver was ejected from the cab. The driver was confirmed deceased at the scene. Southbound main lanes & feeder road of North Fwy (16500 blk) are shutdown north of N. Vista. #HouNews #HouTraffic pic.twitter.com/XCrHYvdxC5— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) January 22, 2020
At the time of the crash, authorities said the driver was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the cab. He ended up on the freeway, and suffered apparent trauma to the body, broken bones and facial injuries, according to deputies.
A witness at the scene told authorities he heard a portion of the crash before the 18-wheeler went off the road.
It's unclear if that sound was a tire or malfunction.
Expect delays and seek alternate routes. Scene investigation by @HCSOTexas will require about 1.5 hours and then cleanup will require several trucks. Hazmat has been requested for possible diesel spill. Two inside s/b lanes have been open. #HouNews #HouTraffic https://t.co/pl3dxdKtLK— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) January 22, 2020