Some interstate highways in Texas are heavily used corridors for a massive volume of truck traffic heading to all points throughout the state and the country. The toll of human life taken each year by truck accidents associated with that high a volume of trucking traffic is great. The most recent disaster occurred on Interstate 20 in the East Texas region, near Smith County, with three lives perishing in the event.
This disaster, however, was not caused by trucking negligence but instead by the operator of a car. That individual entered the highway at 1 a.m. on May 23 going in the wrong direction, i.e., heading eastbound in the westbound lanes. The first confrontation apparently involved an 18-wheeler that tried to avoid a collision with the errant vehicle; instead, the truck went into the median, back into the westbound lanes and was hit by an oncoming truck.
The chain reaction ended with at least three big rigs being seriously damaged. Responders arrived to find a tanker and another trailer on fire and a third trailer buckled up and on its side. The violence level of the crashes that occurred is indicated by the fact that two of the truck drivers and the car driver were killed. The highway was strewn with the pieces and parts of the tractor trailers, along with the symbols and memories of the victims’ lives. The car that entered I-20 in the wrong direction was clearly at fault in this horrific tragedy.
Texas and other states do not require operators in car and truck accidents to react with perfect judgment when faced with an emergency. That rule generally applies to the situation where one is confronted suddenly by a wrong-way driver or a crossover vehicle. Therefore, the estates of the victims seeking damages will likely be able to collect only from the deceased car operator’s estate and not from the other accident participants or their estates.
Source: kltv.com, “DPS investigating triple fatality crash on interstate“, Bob Hallmark, May 23, 2018