On April 19, 2019, the driver of an 18-wheeler that was headed eastbound on I-20 near the Cleburne Highway exit caused a collision that left a 44-year-old woman dead and nine others injured.
Truck driver Lauro Lozano filed suit against JNM Express, Omega Freight Logistics, and Anca Transport and alleged that his boss made him falsify his log book to appear that he rested for the federally required 34 hours between two different routes. In reality, Mr. Lozano had finished a long route when he was asked by his boss to begin another route from Texas to Maryland.
Shale oil in the Permian Basin has been a boon to the West Texas economy, and has been largely responsible for the United States becoming one of the top oil producing countries in the world. However, the citizens of West Texas have paid a heavy price, one denominated in lives lost. Their roads have become some of the deadliest in America.
On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, an 18-wheeler overturned shortly after noon on the Southwest Freeway headed southbound near the exit for SH 288. The vehicle was a HazMat truck, and the crash snarled traffic, backing up nearly all of the freeway. The incident involved just one vehicle, and, thankfully, early reports do not mention any injuries.
On July 17, 2018, Texas jurors awarded a $101 million verdict to Joshua Patterson after his vehicle was struck from behind by a FTS International employee driving a tractor-trailer in September 2013. Due to the collision, Mr. Patterson suffered significant neck and back injuries, which ended his career as a crane operator. Further, the verdict awarded was especially large because the Texas jury found egregious liability on the part of FTS International and their employee truck driver, William Acker. Of the $101 million, nearly $75 million was attributed to punitive damages levied against FTS International.
In early February 2018, the driver of a defective dump truck lost control at a high speed and crashed into Barbara Schmidt's vehicle, leaving her with severe injuries. The truck was carrying debris from the recent California fires down a steep hill when the truck's brakes failed, causing the truck to pick up speed until a fiery collision that injured seven victims in total, including three critically.
Fleet Management Company Zonar, compiled a list of the most dangerous sections of roads before the holiday season. During the holiday season, there is an average increase of 36% in highway traffic. Some of the highways which already have a high danger rating due to the sheer number of crashes and fatalities by volume, like "US-1" for instance can become dramatically more dangerous during the holidays.
Last Friday night in Houston, an 8-year old boy was killed in a wreck around 5:40 p.m. on the inbound lanes of Highway 290 at the Grand Parkway. The child was a passenger in a Kia Optima that was crushed by an 18-wheeler.
Accidents involving semi-trailer trucks are often catastrophic due to the size and power of these vehicles. The result can include not only extensive property damage, but also devastating injuries to those involved.
On July 6th in northern New York, two cars skidded underneath a milk tanker truck that had jackknifed on Interstate 81. The truck was attempting to avoid hitting a deer when it lost control. Tragically, this incident resulted in the loss of four lives, including a doctor that was in a stalled ambulance on the interstate. This is just one of many examples of tractor-trailer accidents that involve passenger vehicles.