Jimmy Dean Ferguson, 1 Injured in Tractor, Truck Accident in Lamar County, TX
Lamar County, TX -- September 10, 2021, Jimmy Dean Ferguson and another person were injured due to an accident involving a truck and a farm tractor.
Authorities reported that the crash took place at around 5:18 p.m. along US Highway 271 near County Road 1508.
Officials said that 65-year-old Jimmy Dean Ferguson was in a Chevy pickup traveling southbound on the highway. Ahead, reports say there was a farm tractor on the shoulder, and Ferguson was reportedly following the tractor. A commercial truck driver traveling the same direction said that Ferguson's vehicle was straddling the fog line.
The truck driver reportedly went into oncoming traffic to pass the vehicles, but then went back when an oncoming vehicle was approaching. Doing so, reports say Ferguson's pickup went more into the lane of travel, and the pickup and the semi-truck collided. Those vehicles then collided with the tractor.
Due to the collision, Ferguson and the tractor driver had incapacitating injuries. The semi-truck driver had no injuries. At this time, additional details are unavailable.
Commentary on Jimmy Dean Ferguson Tractor Accident in Lamar County
There seems to be a bit of controversy over whether or not the truck driver had sufficient clearance to pass the pickup and the tractor and whether or not the pickup was behaving prudently. In most situations like this, it's going to come down to what folks believe a reasonably prudent person would do in the shoes of both of these drivers.
Take this from the perspective of the pickup driver, for example. Reports say he was following a tractor on the shoulder, and a semi-truck began to pass them. Especially if that pickup was there to help make the tractor as visible as possible, one can see why the pickup may move over and make it easier for approaching traffic to pass them. However, one can also see why an approaching driver seeing the pickup on the shoulder might assume they have more clearance than normal, so the pickup driver suddenly coming back into the lane could certainly cause confusion. The question, then, is why the pickup went back into the lane if that's indeed what happened. Did they see the truck passing and thought it would be safe to return to the lane of travel?
Now, consider the perspective of a semi-truck driver passing these vehicles. The driver reportedly told police that the he had sufficient clearance to pass the vehicles and began doing so. However, there was an oncoming vehicle that forced the truck driver to go back into his original lane of travel. So why exactly did the truck driver think there was plenty of clearance? Was the oncoming vehicle speeding? Were they coming up a hill? Did the truck driver simply overestimate the truck's ability to accelerate? And on top of that, was it reasonable to simply assume the lane would be clear when going back? Most truck drivers would check their mirrors to go back, so why wasn't the truck driver able to see the pickup moving off the shoulder?
These are the kinds of questions a prudent investigator is going to ask after a serious collision. It shouldn't matter what is or isn't likely, and anything the reports say needs to be taken with a grain of salt until corroborated through clear evidence. Do I think it may be dangerous for a driver to straddle the shoulder and a lane of travel? Generally speaking, most likely. Is it also concerning that a truck driver would try to enter oncoming traffic to pass that vehicle and somehow fail to judge their ability to do so properly? Certainly. But at the end of the day, it's up to the people to decide whose actions were more likely than not the cause of the crash. Taking steps to get as much evidence as possible is a prudent path forward for victims and families involved in a serious truck wreck like this.