A speeding wrong-way driver crashed into a natural gas pipeline in Mansfield early Wednesday morning.
The driver was critically injured in the crash which occurred around 1 a.m. near US 287 and State Highway 360.
The victim was flown to a local hospital with major injuries, Mansfield Fire Department said.
The crash sparked fire on the pipeline, forcing residents who lived in a one-mile radius to be evacuated.
The fire was put out around 3:30 a.m. while evacuees were able to return home as of 4 a.m.
The crash blocked nearby roadways in the area but they were later reopened.
Charges are pending for the driver.
Wrong-way or counterflow driving means driving a motor vehicle against the direction of traffic. The most common causes of wrong-way driving are drunkenness, recklessness, and orientation problems, especially with the elderly. Driver error, vehicle malfunction or poor roadway design are also other known causes.
Wrong-way accidents are uncommon but deadly. According to statistics, they constitute only about 3% of all motor vehicle accidents. However, they are the leading type of motor vehicle accidents to result in a fatality, claiming about 360 lives in the U.S. each year.
Sixty-nine percent of all wrong-way collisions involve drunk drivers. Majority of the collisions occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
If you drive on the wrong side, you may be fined for driving recklessly or disobeying traffic signs.
For your own safety, 5 Star Autoplex advises that you move out of the way as quickly as possible when you see a wrong-way driver, and then call 911 and report the driver. If you are driving, it is recommended you keep your eyes on the horizon line.
5 Star Autoplex is a Fort Worth collision center specializing in automotive body, collision, dent and auto hail repairs. They have over 30 years of experience in the auto body repair industry. They are ASE-Certified technicians and among the top U.S. auto body repair shops that have earned the prestigious Gold and Platinum Class I-CAR Certification. They offer customers a lifetime guarantee in all auto body repair services and save them thousands on deductibles through quality and quick service delivery.