A work truck carrying herbicide crashed into a residence on the side of Highway 3 in the city of Benton about 1:30 this afternoon. Three people were present in the house, but no one was injured, while the driver of the truck was transported to Willis-Knighton for observation.
The truck was headed southbound on Highway 3 when it veered off the road into the northbound lane near Benton Pawn and Trailers midway between Burt Blvd. and Highway 162. The truck entered the yard of the residence next to the pawn shop, knocking over a telephone pole and overturning a gas meter before ramming into the porch of the house at 6488 Benton Road three houses down.
The Benton Police Department, Bossier Parish Emergency Medical Services, Benton Fire District #4, Bossier Sheriff’s Department, Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture and Forestry and Louisiana State Police worked the scene.
Both lanes of traffic were shut down for a short period while HAZMAT crews assessed the situation. They found diesel fuel leaking from the truck, but it appeared none of the herbicide the truck was carrying was leaking. Gas and electrical services were also shut down in the area.
Center Point Energy crews repaired the gas lines and meter to the neighbor’s home. Southwestern Electric Power Company workers are replacing the telephone pole.
One of the residents of the home was in the bedroom on the phone near the porch when the truck rammed onto the porch and into the house. “It sounded like a bomb going off,” she said. Her two children were in another part of the house, and she had to jump out out of the front window to check on them. All three residents and three dogs at the house were unharmed.
Eyewitnesses on the scene say it appeared there was no one driving the truck, as though he was slumped over the wheel. Preliminary indications show he had a medical emergency.
A United Van Lines 18-wheeler was temporarily stuck on the railroad tracks while being diverted off the southbound lane of Highway 3 just north of the scene.
From Bossier Sheriff's Department