Fiery vehicle crashes on Interstate 10 rocked Seguin and the lives of loved ones as several people died on the roadway in two separate wrecks in 2021.

The first was an explosive, five-vehicle collision Aug. 26 that killed three people and injured five others, one of whom is a Seguin police officer.

Drivers swerving to avoid hitting a Texas Department of Transportation crew working on the highway cut off a semi-truck traveling east on the interstate. The semi was carrying meat products and its driver braked abruptly hoping to avoid a crash, which caused the load to spill onto the highway.

Spilled cargo caused slick condition on the road causing another semi-truck to skid and slam into a guardrail, sending the truck’s cab over the concrete barrier and off the side of the overpass at State Highway 123 Bypass.

The truck burst into flames, while four other vehicles were subsequently involved in chain-reaction crashes.

The fire caused several explosions from the vehicles’ fuel tanks, air bags, tires, pistons and cargo, Seguin Fire Marshal Greg Dreiss said at the time.

A Seguin police officer who arrived shortly after the collision worked to save people before all of the vehicles were fully engulfed in flames, Seguin Police spokesperson Sarah Wallace said.

The officer and two other people went to Guadalupe Regional Medical Center for treatment. Two other people were treated at the scene for injuries, Wallace said.

Police identified the fatalities as Jason A. Howell, 48, of San Antonio; Jason N. Sanchez, 36, of San Antonio; and Joseph D. Cline, 37, of Marion.

Another person died and another was critically injured two weeks later a couple miles west on the same highway.

About 7 a.m. Sept. 9 at I-10 and FM 725, an eastbound truck experienced a tire blowout sending the vehicle off the road and into the center median, Wallace said that day.

It appeared the semi-truck crashed through a guardrail, went down an embankment onto 725, traveled back up and stopped on the other side before bursting into flames.

The driver got out of the truck and was flown to a San Antonio-area hospital in critical condition.

Passenger Larry Cruz, 40, of Fullerton, California, died in the cab of the truck.

Lack of easily accessible water made fighting the fire a taxing ordeal, Seguin Fire Battalion Chief Tom Teboe said.

“We have hydrants that we can see, but if we lay a 5-inch hose line from there to the scene, we completely shutdown all of IH-10,” he said. “We waited on volunteer agencies, who came in real quick, to make scene to keep the water supply coming.”

Authorities did not identify the driver of the semi-truck.

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