• January 05, 2022

Maria Rios Critically Injured in Crash with Box Truck on TX-242 in Montgomery County

UPDATE (January 25, 2022): Later reports have identified the victim of this accident as 63-year-old Maria Leticia Rios.

Montgomery County, TX -- January 4, 2022, a woman was critically injured in a collision with a box truck on State Highway 242 in Montgomery County.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 12:45 p.m. along TX-242 at Northcrest Trail. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was traveling east on the highway in a Ford Focus when a westbound commercial box truck failed to yield the right of way and turned into her path while entering Northcrest Trail. The impact between the vehicles was strong enough to dislodge the engine in the Ford.

The victim received critical injuries in the collision and was transported to a local hospital where she was reportedly in stable condition. No other injuries were reported.

Police reportedly charged the truck driver with failure to yield the right-of-way while turning left.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Maria Rios Accident on TX-242 in Montgomery County

If these reports are accurate then it seems pretty ridiculous that a trained professional driver would turn directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle. That makes me think one of two things happened. Either this crash involved highly unusual circumstances that the authorities missed, or the truck driver simply wasn't paying attention at the time. Even if the latter proves to be true, it's important to specify exactly what went wrong and everything that led up to the crash.

Maria Rios Critically Injured in Crash with Box Truck on TX-242 in Montgomery County

Most would just assume that the truck driver bears all the responsibility for the wreck and that's that. Investigators may still find that's true here, as far too often drivers simply "call an audible" or misjudge how much time and room they have to complete a turn. But what if something else beyond the truck driver's choices also led to the crash? Take for example a situation I handled in which a driver caused a serious wreck because his employer neglected to train him properly. They basically took someone with no commercial trucking experience, showed him where the buttons and levers were, and said "Good luck, get to work." Such ridiculous oversights are dangerous to the general public and even their own employees.

If something like that happened in Montgomery County then just holding the truck driver responsible isn't going to address the real problem. A driver can still be on the hook for their own mistakes, but if outside parties also contributed to the crash most would agree that they, too, need to face the appropriate consequences. Making sure that victims and families get the help they need should be as much a priority as making sure crashes like this don't happen in the future. Whether or not the authorities will take these steps remains to be seen.

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