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The driver of an ice delivery truck lost his life Friday morning, December 11, in a collision with an oil company equipment vehicle on IH-35 near Millett, an incident that left his passenger critically injured.
Emergency responders were dispatched to the scene shortly after 11:30 a.m. Friday at Milemarker 79 and arrived to find that driver Ricardo Cervantes, 22, of Crystal City had succumbed to his injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene by a La Salle County justice of the peace.
Preliminary reports on the crash, supported by the Texas Department of Public Safety in a prepared statement this week, indicate Cervantes had been traveling north on the interstate from Cotulla after making a number of stops to deliver ice at local businesses. Cervantes was at the wheel of a 2006 International truck tractor towing a Great Dane refrigerated trailer when his vehicle collided with the rear of a 1978 Corsair self-propelled well servicing unit.
Cervantes’ injured passenger was transported to University Hospital in San Antonio. There have been no reports of injury to the occupants of the Corsair.
Responders at the scene included medics and firefighters from the La Salle Fire Rescue & EMS, the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Highway Patrol.
Investigations are underway by the Highway Patrol into factors that may have contributed to the crash.
The northbound lanes of the interstate between Millett and Dilley were closed for several hours during the crash investigation and cleanup, with traffic diverted to the highway access roads before single-lane highway traffic was made possible. A logjam of slow-moving commercial and private vehicles stretched south to Cotulla while the interstate was closed.
Cervantes was a 2019 graduate of the Southwest Texas Junior College Truck Driving School at Eagle Pass and had earned his commercial driving license in the summer of that year. He had been employed as an ice vendor delivery driver since that time.