• July 21, 2021

Raymond Smith, Courtney Simard, Christopher Simard Injured in 18-wheeler Accident in San Jacinto County, TX

San Jacinto County, TX -- June 29, 2021, Raymond Smith, Courtney Simard, and Christopher Simard were injured due to an accident involving an 18-wheeler.

Authorities reported that the accident happened at around 1:20 p.m. along US Highway 190 off Counts Road.

According to police officials, 56-year-old Raymond Smith was in a Chevy pickup on eastbound US 190. Ahead were 29-year-old Courtney Simard and 30-year-old Christopher Simard in a Nissan Rogue. Police said that Simard slowed to make a left turn onto Counts Road, and Smith also slowed behind them. An 18-wheeler behind Smith which was reportedly following too closely slammed into the pickup, then hit the Nissan.

As a result of the crash, Smith sustained incapacitating injuries. Both Simards had possible injuries as well. Authorities cited the truck driver for following too closely.

Commentary on Raymond Smith, Courtney Simard, Christopher Simard 18-wheeler Accident in San Jacinto County

With a situation like this, it's easy for folks to jump to conclusions. Police said the 18-wheeler was following too closely, and it rear-ended the victims' vehicles. That's all there is to know, right? Well, maybe. It's obviously important to find out why the truck driver was following too closely, if that's true, but folks may just assume that won't change the fact all of the blame lies on the truck driver. But is that really how these situations go?

Let me give an example of why it's important to understand the full context of what led to the crash. A while back, I had a case involving a truck driver making an easily avoidable mistake, and people got seriously hurt. All I could think about was all the responsible truckers I know and how they wouldn't possibly find themselves in a similar situation. So what went wrong? How could a trained professional make this mistake? Well, what if he wasn't trained properly?

Raymond Smith, Courtney Simard, Christopher Simard 18-wheeler Accident San Jacinto County, TX

We started digging into the company records, and it turned out that truck driver barely had any experience as a commercial vehicle driver. The company hired him anyway, the proceeded to rush him through the training process so they could get product moving as soon as possible. It takes hours and miles of training to properly handle a commercial truck, and that's why responsible truckers live up to a high standard. A driver who barely knows what the buttons and levers do is basically an accident waiting to happen. A company that allows for someone with that little experience to operate a truck clearly has no regard for the safety of the public.

So with that situation, what would putting all the blame on the trucker do? Well, it would likely mean their employer cuts ties and just hires someone else, possibly another inexperienced driver who could cause another accident. But what if the evidence clearly shows the trucking company's negligence? Well, there could then be appropriate consequences to make sure they clean up their act so no one else gets hurt.

That's what I think about when I read about crashes like this. Not necessarily that there's some big, systemic issue that led to the crash, but rather that the police reports may only show a small sliver of the much larger picture. Was this a truck driver simply being reckless? Was this the result of an environment built on reckless behavior that could be putting others at risk? Was this some unusual circumstance the 18-wheeler driver actually had no control over? The only way to say for sure is to ensure investigations look into the crash from all possible angles and actually get evidence of what all went wrong.

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