Man Injured in 18-wheeler Accident at Sam Houston Park Drive in Harris County, TX
Harris County, TX -- May 7, 2021, one person was injured due to an accident where a car and an 18-wheeler crashed along Sam Houston Park Drive.
Investigators reported that the crash took place around 11:28 a.m. at Sam Houston Park Drive and Sam Houston Parkway.
In their reports, authorities said that a 58-year-old man was in a Subaru Outback traveling along Sam Houston Park. At Sam Houston Parkway, authorities said that an 18-wheeler was making a wide right turn onto the parkway. Police say the car failed to control speed and crashed into the right side of the 18-wheeler.
The Subaru driver had reportedly incapacitating injuries. No one else was hurt. Police cited the truck driver for failure to control speed. Investigations are ongoing at this time.
Commentary on 18-wheeler Accident at Sam Houston Park Drive in Harris County
Every time I read a preliminary report like this, I understand that I'm only getting a piece of the larger picture. There's no way to say what police got right or wrong unless there is clear evidence which these reports don't typically show. However, I have 30 years of experience handling all kinds of commercial truck wrecks. Quite frankly, I'm skeptical about the conclusions that police came to here.
The authorities said the victim caused the crash by failing to control speed. I have no particular reason to doubt that. However, the reports also show that an 18-wheeler was making a wide right turn across the lane where the collision occurred. Here's why that stands out to me.
Wide right turns are inherently dangerous, but that's not to say they are always unacceptable. Trucks are big, and drivers don't always have enough room to make as safe a turn as we'd like. The real question is whether or not the truck driver made a reasonable decision. If the truck driver signaled their turn, made the maneuver, and had plenty of time to start turning before the collision occurred, then I can see why police would make the conclusions they seem to have here.
However, if the truck was in the next lane over and suddenly cut into the car's path, and the car driver had every reason to believe the truck wasn't going to move over suddenly, then perhaps that truck driver took for granted that everyone around them was going to give them space when they were the wones crossing multiple lanes of traffic.
So, were steps taken here to really determine what all led to the crash? Did authorities examine debris patterns? Did the victim tell their side of the story before going to the hospital? Were there witnesses? Is there video footage? Do police have cell phone records? Again, I'm not trying to discount these reports, but it's at least worth looking into whether or not there's more to this story.