An I-10 semi-crash claimed the life of a Pasadena police officer back in April who, along with a colleague, had stopped to assist the victims of a prior car accident. The driver of the 18-wheeler slammed into the parked cars of several who stopped to render aid to the victims of the first crash involving a U-Haul trailer pulled by a Honda Fit and a Chevy Silverado. According to one witness, the truck driver never hit the brakes until barreling into the parked cars.
The two crashes critically injured five people, including an off-duty officer who lost his leg, and killed Larry Candelari of the Pasadena Police Department. An elderly man and woman were trapped inside of their car by the impact from the semi-truck crash and had to be rescued using hydraulic lifts by first responders.
The truck driver claimed to have noticed debris in the road and moved into the left lane. The U-haul, which had stopped in the right hand lane, appeared out of nowhere, forcing the truck driver to swerve in an attempt to avoid it, explained the truck driver.
According to one man who had stopped to help the crash victims, all or most of the stopped cars had their hazard lights on.
Both drivers involved in the first accident were taken to local hospitals for treatment.
Michael Huffman and Candelari were on their way back to the Baytown area after a hunting trip near Kerrville when they stopped to assist with the car accident. Huffman has since undergone 26 surgeries and spent more than two months in the hospital, but is ready to get back to work. He hopes to teach firearms courses to officers once fitted for and used to his prosthetic leg.
Source: Police One, “Texas officer killed helping accident victims on roadside,” July 9, 2013