Tina Hunley Killed, Two Injured in Truck Accident on US-287 in Sherman County, TX
Sherman County, TX -- March 29, 2022, 46-year-old Tina Hunley died and two people were injured when an SUV and a semi-truck collided in Sherman County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 2:45 p.m. along U.S. Highway 287 near mile marker 32, south of Stratford. Preliminary investigation suggests Hunley was driving a GMC Yukon with a boat trailer south on the highway when she pulled onto the shoulder. Some distance behind the Yukon a commercial truck driver saw it stop on the shoulder and merged into the left lane to avoid it. As the truck approached the SUV Hunley pulled back into the roadway, passing through the southbound lanes to reach a center turnaround. The GMC entered the path of the big rig and the two collided in the southbound roadway.
Hunley suffered critical injuries in the crash and was transported to a Dumas hospital where she later died. Two passengers in the SUV, 45-year-old William Hunley and an 11-year-old girl, were also hospitalized. The truck driver was unhurt.
The crash remains under investigation. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Tina Hunley Accident on US-287 in Sherman County
Reports suggest the victims' vehicle may have re-entered the road at an unfortunate time, but accidents rarely boil down to a single cause like that. It would most likely take careful accident reconstruction to connect all the dots, which is why I so strongly advocate for independent investigations. Vital details are sometimes overlooked by local law enforcement who may not have the appropriate training or equipment to properly analyze the scene.
Some may think the news reports paint a pretty clear picture and there's little need for further scrutiny, but it's important to remember that preliminary reports are rarely the gospel truth of an accident. For instance, if evidence is found that the truck driver was distracted or otherwise could reasonably have noticed the SUV starting to move back into the road, but didn't take appropriate action, then it's possible he and his employer are at least partly responsible for the crash.
To be clear, I don't want to place any undue blame on the trucker. Reports say he saw the SUV and even moved over to give them space on the shoulder; maybe there really was nothing he could do before the victims got back on the road. As I said before, though, most accidents are actually combinations of various factors coming together in a bad way. To say the entire incident boiled down to a simple turn when other factors like brake failure, hazardous roads, or driver inattention might have been involved means the whole truth might not yet be known. I can't even tell you how many "official" police reports I've seen where our independent investigations found missed details or incorrect narratives.
Ultimately the law would seek to determine what was more likely than not the cause of the victims' injuries. Evidence might show that an unsafe traffic maneuver really was the primary cause, or careful investigation could determine something could have been done differently to prevent the crash or mitigate its damage. The best thing for all involved--and the way to be sure all the objective facts of the crash are found--is to conduct an independent investigation and locate the details that make all the difference. The sooner that's done, the sooner the people affected can get some much-needed answers.