Cover photo courtesy of the Longview News-Journal
By Jerry Jordan, Editor
A preliminary accident report from the Texas Department of Public Safety has confirmed that the hauler driver of a David Gilliland Racing rig was killed in a major accident earlier this morning in a crash on Interstate 20, near Longview, Texas.
The major accident, which occurred around 5:30 a.m. near mile marker 595 on Interstate 20, according to law enforcement, scattered debris blocked lanes on both sides of the interstate. According to the Longview News-Journal, which is sharing information with Kickin’ the Tires, there was a fatality and “a couple of people” from the scene were taken to an area hospital. Additionally, the newspaper quoted Longview, Tx. fire marshal, Kevin May, that the hauler was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene.
A preliminary report released by Sgt. Jean Dark, with the Texas Department of Public Safety, states, “Unit 1 and towed trailer were traveling west on IH-20 in the outside lane. Unit 2 and towed trailer were traveling west on IH-20 approaching Unit 1 from behind. The driver of Unit 2 failed to control its speed and struck Unit 1’s towed trailer. The impact caused Unit 1 to roll onto its side into the center median and its towed trailer to vault over the concrete barrier into the eastbound lane. Unit 2 also traveled into the center median, struck the concrete barrier and caught fire, its towed trailer turned onto its side in the center median.”
Unit 1 or Vehicle 1 is described in the report as being a 2020 Honda Passport hauling a small box trailer. Unit 2 or Vehicle 2 is described as being a 2004 Volvo Conventional Tractor, towing a 2007 Featherlite trailer. Unit 2 is the David Gilliland Racing hauler.
According to the report, the DGR hauler driver, Steven C. Stotts, was killed in the crash.
The passengers in the DGR hauler, who served as co-drivers with Stotts, were John P. Zaverl of Mocksville, NC and Michael Mizzelle of Mooresville, NC. They were both taken to Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center and are in “stable condition.”
The driver of Unit 1, Young Mo Kang, 63, of Montgomery, AL., was also taken to an area hospital and is listed in “stable condition.”
A statement from David Gilliland Racing confirmed it was their hauler involved in the accident, “David Gilliland Racing has learned that our No. 17 ARCA team transporter was involved in an accident early this morning near Longview, Texas. The transporter was en route to Arizona for Friday evening’s ARCA Menards Series event at Phoenix Raceway.”
Jeff Williford, spokesperson for the Texas Department of Transportation said one lane of the interstate was closed on the westbound side. He confirmed that the eastbound lanes had been cleared of debris and traffic was moving.
“There was debris on both sides of the interstate,” Williford told, Kickin’ the Tires. “We are working with local law enforcement to reopen all lanes soon.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information and updates on the crash, check back with us at Kickin’ the Tires or follow the coverage of the Longview News Journal.