Highway reopens after animal waste spill shut down lanes for several hours

HOUSTON – About 300 pounds of animal waste was scattered across the freeway in Sugar Land, police said.

Several northbound main lanes of Highway 59 at Williams Trace were closed after a truck lost its load around 9 a.m. Tuesday. 

“He was hauling animal waste product, which appeared to be remains of slaughtered cattle. There were reports of a foul smell,” said Doug Adolph, a spokesperson for the Sugar Land Police Department. 

According to Adolph, witnesses said the driver slammed his brakes suddenly, causing the waste to spill and creating a traffic nightmare. He said a huge portion of the highway was closed for more than three hours as Texas Department of Transportation crews cleaned the smelly mess with water and cat litter.

PHOTOS: Animal waste spill in Sugar Land

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Animal waste spilled on the freeway in Sugar Land on April 9, 2019.

Several KPRC viewers said they spotted a truck with animal parts hanging from it. 

Scott Campbell wrote to KPRC, "I saw the truck that was driving the waste. Didn’t stop. Kept driving with parts hanging off their truck. It was horrible."

KPRC viewer Meredith McCrary said she saw the truck and said it "smelled awful."

Police are now looking for the driver, an employee of Double D trucking, who kept on driving despite spilling the waste. 

“We don’t know if he stopped temporarily or if he didn’t stop at all. All we know is that, when we arrived, the driver wasn't there,” Adolph said.

Police said the truck is registered to a company in Franklin and they are looking to see whether there were any violations related to the transport of the animal by-product.

“If we find that they were not in compliance with state law that requires drivers to keep their cargo secured, then they could face a citation,” Adolph said. 

About the Authors:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.