Family members are mourning, and rush-hour traffic was snarled, when a motorist driving a passenger vehicle was killed in a collision with an 18-wheeler truck.
The crash occurred about 9:15 a.m. in the westbound lanes of the North Loop 610 near the Hardy Toll Road. The truck stopped for traffic and was struck by a Chevrolet. Another vehicle then smashed into the Chevrolet. The westbound lanes were completely blocked for an extended time. The freeway was not completely cleared until about 1:30 p.m.
This tragedy underscores again the danger attendant to big truck transportation. They are far less maneuverable than automobiles and, fully loaded, they can weigh 40 times more than a car. Coupled with their physical size, they represent a substantial hazard for others using the highway.
Members of the public need to exercise caution around trucks, especially tractor-trailers. In addition, transportation companies must monitor their drivers. They should provide initial, and continuing, training. They also should ensure that truck drivers do not exceed the maximum allowable hours behind the wheel. Finally, truck companies must properly service their rigs. Without these precautions, 18-wheelers pose enormous threats for others on the roadway. And wrecks involving big rigs are rarely fender-benders; more often, serious injuries result, and, as we saw today, even fatalities.