Media accounts report that, at about 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, there was a wreck involving multiple vehicles-including an 18-wheeler-in the southbound lanes of U.S. 59 near Cleveland. Eight people were injured, but, thankfully thus far no fatalities have been reported. The crash closed the lanes for many hours afterwards.
The incident began when an SUV became disabled in a traffic lane. A pickup stopped without hitting the SUV, and the driver was evidently trying to help, but apparently did not activate the pickup’s hazard warning lights. Then, an 18-wheeler slammed into the vehicles. The SUV had five occupants, and was in danger of plunging into the San Jacinto River. Its occupants were taken to a hospital. The pickup that was hit by the 18-wheeler had three people inside it, and two were flown to the hospital in critical condition. The driver of the 18-wheeler was said to have sustained minor injuries.
This incident reveals the importance of proper vehicle maintenance to reduce the chance of any breakdown. If a vehicle becomes disabled on the main traveled portion of a highway, it poses an extreme hazard to its occupants and other motorists. If at all possible, the vehicle must be removed immediately from the roadway. And, without question, drivers of vehicles that break down, as well as those who stop to help them, must warn other traffic by turning on their emergency flashers. The risk is too great to ignore any step that might avoid a potentially deadly crash.