For wrecker drivers, pileup scene was chaos
By Dan Wallach | November 23, 2012 | Updated: November 24, 2012 8:38am
BEAUMONT – Much of Jefferson County’s wrecker industry mobilized in response to a series of massive pileups on Interstate 10 Thursday, and drivers were stunned by the scene that confronted them.
Eric “Boo Boo” Roundtree, who works for Chuck’s Wrecker Service, said he had never seen anything as overwhelming as the number of vehicles piled up amid ambulances with paramedics treating the injured.
“It was enough, but it seemed like it wasn’t enough,” because there was so much damage and so many people hurt, he said of the response.
“It was a team effort – that’s what it was,” Roundtree said. “If it wasn’t a team effort, it would have gone sour.”
At least four pileups involving more than 100 vehicles Thanksgiving morning left two people dead and dozens with varying degrees of injuries. As of Friday, no more deaths had been reported, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.
Chuck’s Wrecker pulled five cars and one 18-wheeler from the tangle that stretched along both sides of I-10. If that is an average haul, it means about 20 wrecker companies were deployed to clear the eastbound and westbound lanes of the interstate – possibly most of the companies in Jefferson County.