Injuries Reported in Multi-Vehicle Crash on Icy I-35 in West, TX
West, TX -- February 2, 2022, injuries were reported after a van and a tractor-trailer slide into a crash scene on Interstate 35 in West.
Authorities say the incident happened around 11:40 a.m. on I-35 North near the Oak Street overpass. Preliminary investigation suggests a commercial 18-wheeler jackknifed on the roadway in icy conditions, coming to rest facing south in the northbound lanes. Police worked to clear the scene but a van reportedly did not slow down when approaching and slid into the crash. Shortly afterward another 18-wheeler crashed into the van.
Injuries were reported but police said none were considered serious.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Icy Road Accident on I-35 North in West
While I'm sure this accident was scary as it all went down, it's at least a silver lining to read that the injuries sustained weren't serious. In situations like that I can't help but feel some concern when early reports--ones that don't necessarily have all the facts--downplay the damages.
I don't mean to say things are certain to get worse or that reports are mistaken. I just know from long experience working on auto accidents that sometimes injuries take a little while to show their true nature. I worked on a wreck not long ago where a man's "sore back" after being rear-ended by an 18-wheeler turned out to be a ruptured spinal disk that required major surgery and lengthy rehab, all while the company behind the truck that hit him denied liability. While his original injuries were thought to be "not serious," very little about his overall experience turned out to be minor.
Of course there's also the point of concern that a supposedly-professional truck driver apparently saw an active crash scene and a van running into it on slick roads and went ahead and did it too instead of slowing way down. It's worth noting that federal law requires professional drivers to travel in a manner consistent with conditions, to the point of telling them to just pull over and stop if they have to. A truck skidding into an accident scene doesn't sound like one that was going the required crawl to remain safe, so it may be something of a miracle that no one was hurt any worse.
Obviously I hope the situation in West doesn't get any worse for the victims and there's no particular reason to think it will. It's just important to find out everything about what happened and why. Commercial truck wrecks should always be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly even if their aftermath doesn't immediately seem dire. I have seen too many cases where victims are told they're "fine" only for their injuries to worsen later--sometimes when it's too late to take any action.