The rushing water was almost cresting the roof of the cab, but local emergency personnel pulled a group of four people to safety just in time Thursday morning.
After the night's rain, "The hydraulics were very bad coming across the road," Kilgore Fire Chief Johnny Bellows confirmed Thursday. As the driver dared the swift water, "The truck washed off," trapping two adults, a child and an infant in the flow.
"They were kind of pinned up against the trees."
Kilgore FD was dispatched to County Road 1114 at 7:39 a.m. May 2, joined by first responders from New London as well as Kilgore Rescue Unit volunteers at the scene in Rusk County.
Surrounded by the flood, the truck filling with water, the adults pulled the children to roof and waited for the emergency personnel.
The current proved to rapid for a direct route, Bellows noted, as three rescuers headed for the vehicle.
"They had to go back down and go through the woods, with all the rush and stuff, to get back to them," he said. "When they got to the truck, one rescuer stayed on the truck with one victim and the infant while the other two were taken out. They went to the back, returned and took the others out.
"The water was very nearly at the roof level."
Fortunately, he added, everyone escaped without injury. KFD cleared the scene about 9:30 a.m.
"It was very close to being a pretty bad situation," Bellows said. "The only advice we can continue to give on these things is don't drive in water over the roadway.
"Stay dry, stay safe."