18-Wheeler Parked on Beaumont Highway Results in Woman Being Life Flighted to Houston
On Saturday night, September 17, a young woman collided with the rear of an 18-wheeler parked on Beaumont Highway. The impact was so significant that the woman had to be rushed to Houston via life flight.
Collisions by motorists into the back of parked 18-wheelers occur far too often. Indeed, the American Trucking Association has published warnings to truckers on this known danger. One bulletin warns: Trucks are Targets on Shoulders.
If trucks are targets on shoulders just imagine what type of danger they present when they are parked on a major highway like the Beaumont Highway. Due to these hazards, and visibility problems (particularly at night) the Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver’s Handbook requires the driver to set out two reflective triangles behind the truck. One at 100 feet from the rear of the 18-wheeler, and a second at 10 feet from the rear of the 18-wheeler. A third triangle should be placed 100 feet in front of the truck.
Due to the nature of this horrific crash, the truck driver and the trucking company need to be investigated as soon as possible. Investigation should include the following:
(1) What is the safety record of the trucking company?
(2) How long was the truck parked on the highway?
(3) Why weren’t reflective triangles set out behind the truck?
(4) Why was the load scheduled to be delivered on Saturday night after dark?
(5) Why wasn’t someone scheduled to unlock the gate, and/or serve as a flagman for the truck driver?
(6) Did truck driver fatigue play a role?
(7) Did the truck driver submit himself for drug and alcohol testing following the collision?
(8) What does the data download from the truck’s black box reveal?
The above questions, and more, need to be asked in behalf of the families and victims of this horrible crash. Moreover, the black-box data needs to be downloaded and the equipment inspected as soon as possible before things are altered.
In my experience, police agencies and state authorities have neither the manpower, nor the desire to perform a thorough investigation concerning such issues. Consequently, the families will need to retain an attorney who is intimately familiar with the trucking industry and its regulations to achieve a thorough investigation.
Fortunately for them, most good trucking attorneys, will provide a free initial consultation and handle such cases on a contingent fee basis; a contingent fee means that the victims and/or their families pay a fee at the end of the case, and only if the case meets with success. That way, there is no risk to the family in getting to the bottom of what really happened and obtaining just compensation for such horrific losses.