Trucking Accidents Make Headlines Across Texas
In 2011, Texas had 23,968 automobile collisions on its roadways that involved commercial motor vehicles out of a total of 381,463. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a little over one and a half percent of these wrecks resulted in fatalities, and about fourteen percent caused serious bodily injury. While the rate of truck wrecks that resulted in fatalities last year may seem relatively low, that rate is twice the rate of fatal wrecks for all motor vehicle accidents statewide total. Here is a closer look at some of the recent crashes involving tractor trailers that have made headlines this year in Texas:
Four vehicles were involved in a collision in July 2012 when three passenger vehicles were stopped at a construction zone about a mile east of Crockett, TX. The three cars, which were stopped by a flagger around 11:00 am, were struck from behind by a tractor trailer carrying lumber. Eight people, including the construction zone flagger, were seriously injured; with one three-year-old child being rushed by helicopter to the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. Another two helicopters took wounded to East Texas Medical Center – Tyler, and the rest were taken to ETMC – Crockett by ambulance. One man from Milam, TX was killed in the wreck, which was caused when the 18-wheeler carrying lumber literally ran over the three passenger vehicles stopped at the construction zone. Details have yet to be released as to why the driver refused to brake at the construction zone in broad daylight.
That same week in Central Texas, a man on his bicycle crossing the southbound frontage road of I-35 at 2:00 am was struck by an 18-wheeler and killed. The truck driver told investigators that he crested the hill and could not avoid the cyclist, who appeared suddenly before him. The driver claims the wreck was unavoidable despite applying his brakes upon seeing the cyclist.
A little over a week later on the other side of the state, storm clouds brewing about two miles from the Midland County line stirred up a dust storm that headed straight for I-20, a main artery of the state’s highways. The dust storm caused decreased visibility for drivers as the sun was starting set, and one sudden stop created a 17-vehicle pileup that spanned both the east and westbound lanes. Five of those vehicles were 18-wheelers, and two motorists were killed when their car was pinned between two tractor trailers. The passenger was killed at the scene, and the driver died later at the Odessa Medical Center. Two more seriously injured were taken to Odessa Medical Center as well. First responders described it as the worse multiple car pileup seen in Midland County.
Serious or fatal injuries due to wrecks involving trucks or other commercial vehicles are far too common, but trucking companies devote their seemingly endless resources to denying liability for the negligent driving of their operators. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a wreck involving a commercial motor vehicle, you cannot trust the trucking company or its insurers to take responsibility. Call Zinda Law Group PLLC, a firm with the experience to ensure justice is restored. 800-863-5312.