Northbound traffic on Interstate 35W started slowly moving around 9:30 p.m. Friday as some of the wreckage was cleared from a multivehicle wreck south of Itasca that killed a Jacksboro resident and sent four others to Fort Worth hospitals in critical condition.The wreck happened about 4:30 p.m., said Trooper D.L. Wilson, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety office in Waco.Nine people in seven vehicles, including a big rig and a flatbed pickup, were involved, Wilson said. Volunteer firefighters from Itasca, Grandview and Hillsboro helped pull the people to safety, and then they passed out bottled water to the motorists stranded behind the wreckage, Wilson said. It was 91 degrees 10 p.m. at Hillsboro.The scene was about three miles south of Itasca at mile marker 5 where highway crews had been replacing a culvert, Wilson said. To do that, one of the two northbound lanes was closed, and traffic had to slow to form a single lane.“An 18-wheeler failed to slow down,” Wilson said. [The driver] “did not apply brakes at all and struck a flatbed pickup in the rear and caused a major chain reaction.”The pickup driver was pronounced dead at the scene by a Hill County justice of the peace, and his body was taken to a funeral home in Hillsboro, Wilson said.Wilson identified the dead man as Danny Davis, 37, of Jacksboro.A passenger in the flatbed was among the four injured people, the trooper said.Two were taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital and the other two went to John Peter Smith Hospital, he said. Helicopter ambulances were dispatched for two of the injured, while ground ambulances moved the others.Wilson said the wreck was still under investigation Friday and it was premature to speculate if the big-rig driver would face charges. That driver was not hurt, Wilson said.
Bill Miller, 817-390-7684 Twitter: @Bill_MillerST