A flatbed tractor-trailer rig carrying a load of lumber planks left the southbound lane of U.S. 63 Thursday morning and overturned in front of the Houston license office.

Houston Police Chief Jim McNiell responded to the scene and said the male driver wasn’t sure what had happened, and he had sustained shoulder injuries of undetermined nature. The truck, owned by Steppin On LLC of Russellville, apparently left the roadway in front of Infinite Entertainment, hit the raised driveway between the two sections of the Houston Center strip mall and came to rest on the other side of the driveway after tipping over.

Planks were strewn on the lawn in front of the center over about a 40-yard distance.

City of Houston Fire Department personnel also responded to the crash and tended to an oil spill emanating from the vehicle. A drying agent and truckloads of sawdust were spread on the ground in an attempt to contain the oil, which flowed away from the rig atop runoff from melting snow.

Crews from Midway Towing and Recovery, of Pomona, turned the rig upright and moved it from the scene Thursday afternoon. Missouri Department of Transportation workers blocked traffic in both directions as two large tow trucks straddling the roadway above the crash scene pulled the wreckage over with cables. A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper also assisted.

McNiell said the load had originated in Westphalia, but he wasn’t sure of its destination. The driver – who was walking and talking at the scene of the accident – was taken by ambulance to Texas County Memorial Hospital.

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