06/03/2015 // 1800 Truck Wreck // (press release)
The Texas Department of Public Safety recently said investigators were still searching for answers in a Texas truck crash on an uncompleted bridge in March. The tractor-trailer struck the bridge setting off a fatal chain of events.
Source: AP Report “Texas investigators continue to review fatal bridge crash”
“AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Department of Public Safety says investigators are still trying to determine what caused a tractor-trailer to strike a partially constructed bridge over Interstate 35 in March, leading to the death of a motorist.”
According to media reports, authorities say two major factors in the accident were driver inattention and the fact that the truck was hauling an illegal oversized load. The semi tractor did not possess the proper permit at the time.
Source: Associated Press Report “Texas truck in bridge accident did not have proper permit”
“The motor carrier that struck the bridge did not have the legally required permit to carry an overweight load,” Texas Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman Adam Shaivitz told the Austin American-Statesman on Friday.”
An Arlington man was killed in the accident, and two others sustained injuries. The driver of the tractor-trailer was also injured. Federal records show that the trucking company involved, Lares Trucking, underwent multiple random inspections over the course of two years prior. Investigators found safety defects serious enough for trucks in question to be taken out of service.
Texas truck accident attorney Amy Witherite of the Eberstein Witherite law firm says that media focus on accidents like this one help highlight a widespread problem within the trucking industry. According to Witherite, “the inattentiveness of truck drivers and a failure on the part of trucking companies to comply with safety regulations are two of the most common causes of hundreds of serious truck accidents that occur in Texas each year.”
Nationwide, there are also major points of concern. Data from the US Department of Transportation shows that more than 100,000 commercial trucks are involved in accidents every year. Negligent factors like driver distractions and speeding have been deemed causes of a significant percentage of these.
Multiple proposals have been made by transportation safety advocates for combating the issue of reducing accidents linked to truck driver and trucking company negligence. Attorney Amy Witherite, whose law firm represents Texas truck accident victims statewide and has offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston, says that civil action in these cases has done a lot for the effort because it holds liable parties accountable for any wrongdoing on their part.
Some are now even pressing for ways to strengthen the effort of ensuring accountability for negligent truck drivers and companies linked to fatal trucking accidents. One such proposed measure is the Safe and Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels Act, which is currently being reviewed by Congress. The bill aims to increase trucking insurance liability for the protection of victims with valid claims of damages. Houston truck accident lawyer Jonathan Harris, who represents clients in a high-profile 18-wheeler accident that resulted in the deaths multiple members of the same family, is a strong proponent of the passage of the controversial measure.
Harris has stated of the matter, “as it stands the liability of insurance companies is very limited. For cases involving compensation for 18-wheeler accidents involving multimillion-dollar verdicts, paying the excess becomes of burden of someone who typically just cannot afford it.”
Eberstein Witherite LLP