Recent weeks have seen a rash of commercial truck accidents across the state of Texas—with several accidents leading to fatalities—renewing the call for discussion over how to improve the safety of semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles on the road.
Driver Struck by Dump Truck in Belton
November 15, 2017
Sixty-year-old Thomas Gray, a Belton resident, was driving a 2002 Chevrolet passenger van near the intersection of FM 439 and Courtney Lane when a 2003 International commercial dump truck struck his vehicle. Gray was attempting a left turn onto Courtney Lane at approximately 3:00 p.m. when the dump truck hit the left side of his van.
Sgt. Dave Roberts with the Texas Department of Public Safety said Raymond Shaw, who was driving the dump truck that was following Gray’s eastbound van, initially swerved to avoid hitting the van, but ultimately struck the van on its left side. Shaw was not injured in the collision.
Willie Bailey Jr., a 64-year-old Nolanville resident, was a passenger in the van with Gray and was transported to Seton Medical Center Harker Heights with non-life-threatening injuries.
An investigation into the Belton truck crash is ongoing.
One Fatality After Tow Truck Strikes Sedan in Dallas
November 14, 2017
One day before the Belton truck crash, an individual died in Dallas in an accident involving a tow truck. Southbound lanes of Stemmons Freeway were closed in the area following the crash.
Dallas County Sheriff’s Office deputies said they responded to the truck accident, which occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Interstate 35E near Harry Hines Boulevard and Regal Row. Three people were traveling in a red BMW SUV when it was hit by a tow truck, which subsequently veered off the road and came to a stop in a nearby creek bed.
Two of the three individuals inside the BMW were extricated from the SUV, and all three were hospitalized for their injuries. The tow truck driver was also hospitalized with unidentified injuries.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office later confirmed one fatality, noting that an individual died in the hospital. They did not, however, identify the individual who died, nor clarify whether the person was in the SUV or the tow truck.
Collision with UPS Truck Leaves Three Dead in Dallas
November 13, 2017
An early morning crash near the intersection of Harry Hines Boulevard and Lombardy Lane took the lives of three people traveling in a silver passenger vehicle.
The truck crash happened at approximately 2:45 a.m. as the passenger vehicle traveled northbound and approached a UPS truck that was also traveling north. The UPS truck—a big rig—had a 53-foot trailer with no contents at the time of the incident. Officials believe that the semi-truck was stopped at a stoplight and the passenger vehicle hit it from behind.
Images from the scene show the front half of the silver car wedged under the empty trailer of the UPS truck. Underride accidents like this are common in the U.S., but experts believe that simple safety implements could drastically reduce the number of deaths caused by such underride truck accidents.
The people inside the passenger vehicle were pinned by the wreckage, and a specialized Dallas Fire-Rescue crew was called in to free them. Both people from the front seat were pronounced dead at the scene, while the backseat passenger died later at Parkland Hospital.
Initial reports identified the occupants of the passenger vehicle as three men, but Alyssa Woosley spoke with KXII to confirm that her daughter, 22-year-old Ainslee Henderson, was a passenger in the vehicle and died in the truck crash.
Henderson had three brothers, who Woosley said are still grappling with the news.
“They’re devastated, they loved her so much,” she told the television station. “They loved her so much, they were each others’ rock.”
23-Year-Old Killed in Collision with Big Rig in Lindale
November 13, 2017
The 23-year-old daughter of a Gulfport, Mississippi councilwoman is dead after the Chevy Tahoe she was driving collided with a big rig in Lindale.
Sydney Pucheu was traveling home to Gulfport to see her family when the crash occurred on I-20 in Lindale at approximately 12:12 p.m., killing her instantly. Pucheu’s dog was in the vehicle with her and also died in the crash.
Pucheu was working at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, where she had quickly earned a promotion from an internship to a supervisor position. Her mother, Councilwoman Cara Lero Pucheu, said that her daughter was doing what she was meant to do.
“She loved to serve others and to make people happy,” Pucheu told the Sun Herald. “That is what she wanted to do in life.”
Both the Lindale Police Department and Texas Department of Public Safety have ongoing investigations into the cause of the truck accident.
Semi-Truck Crashes Through Wall of North Richland Hills Overpass
November 12, 2017
Questions remain as to what caused an unidentified semi-truck carrying a load of Miracle Whip and macaroni and cheese to fail to slow down for a turn and then crash through an overpass barrier onto the roadway below.
The driver took the Iron Horse Drive exit at approximately 10:20 p.m. and lost control of the tractor-trailer, causing him to collide with the other side of the overpass, break through the barrier, and fall onto the median of Northeast Loop 820. Images show the mangled semi’s cab of resting on the road.
Investigators are trying to determine whether there was a medical issue, an issue with the semi-truck, or if the driver was driving carelessly when the accident occurred, as Lt. Jeff Garner said that driver showed “no sign of braking at all.”
First responders extricated the driver after the crash, and he was taken by air ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in critical condition.