UPDATE: Curtis Cobb Killed, Napoleon Espinosa-Morales Injured in 18-Wheeler Accident in Andrews County, TX
Andrews County, TX -- On February 5, 2019, 63-year-old truck driver Curtis Cobb was killed in a collision between two tractor-trailers at an Andrews County intersection.
Texas DPS troopers say the wreck happened shortly before 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Highway 176 and Farm to Market Road (FM) 181. The driver of one 18-wheeler reportedly failed to stop at a posted stop sign and collided with another semi-truck.
Cobb was killed in the wreck. The other driver, Napoleon Espinosa-Morales, suffered unspecified injuries and was taken to Medical Center Hospital.
Authorities continue to investigate the crash. It is unclear at this time which driver failed to stop.
Map of the Area
UPDATE, May 9 2019: The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has released its official incident report about this crash, viewable below.
ORIGINAL: I took a look at the intersection where this crash happened, and it seems to be fairly isolated. I bring that up only to say that it may be tough locating witnesses or any form of corroborating evidence that would help officers determine which driver did what. The news didn't provide any photos of the scene, but maybe the damage to the trucks is arrayed so that it's possible to tell how the trucks collided, which would likely be helpful in reconstructing the accident.
Right-of-way will be one of the most important details to find out, but there are plenty of crucial elements that always need to be learned in order to piece together the most complete picture of a wreck. Keeping in mind that two commercial trucks collided, that means that two trucking firms will likely be telling two extremely different stories, each of them focused around how their driver is not at fault.
The best way to learn the truth of a crash--especially one as complex as a commercial wreck can be--is through a careful and thorough investigation. That's why in commercial crashes, I recommend the involvement of an experienced independent investigator. These professionals are trained and equipped to get every shred of evidence from the scene, from creating laser-maps of the crash to running advanced 3-D simulations and collecting Engine Control Module data from the vehicles involved.
The reason to do all this fact-finding is that commercial entities, including trucking firms, rarely step up and admit liability without making every effort to dispute it first. In this case, the two companies involved will likely engage in a spirited round of finger-pointing and buck-passing, each trying to lay the blame for the wreck at the feet of the other.
While they're busy arguing, though, the crash victims and their families will struggle in the absence of a resolution. That's why the best thing they can do is find the evidence they need independent of the companies' bickering and take the responsible firm to task for the negligence of its driver.
--Grossman Law Offices