Benjamin and Tiffany Arnett Injured in Truck Accident on I-10 in San Felipe, TX
San Felipe, TX -- March 16, 2022, Benjamin and Tiffany Arnett were seriously injured in a multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 10 in San Felipe.
Authorities say the incident happened around 7:40 a.m. on I-10 near mile marker 724. Preliminary investigation suggests the area was under construction, narrowing traffic to two lanes. Traffic was further restricted to only the far left lane as two police patrol units blocked the other lane while a tow truck assisted with a disabled Chrysler Town & Country.
According to reports 29-year-old Devin Mackey was driving a Kia Forte and slowed for traffic in the left lane. Behind the Kia, 41-year-old Benjamin Arnett was driving a Volkswagen Tiguan and also slowed in response to traffic. As the two traveled slowly forward a Volvo tractor-trailer approached from the west and crashed into the back of the Volkswagen. The impact pushed the VW into the rear of the Kia, in turn pushing the Kia into the nearby crash barrier.
The VW spun out into the area blocked off by the police cars, hitting the side of the tow truck. The big rig then hit the Kia.
Benjamin Arnett and his 39-year-old passenger Tiffany Arnett suffered serious injuries in the crash. Devin Mackey reportedly received minor injuries. No one else was hurt.
Investigators later learned that the Volvo semi-truck was unregistered and had fake temporary buyer tags.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Benjamin and Tiffany Arnett Accident on I-10 in San Felipe
An 18-wheeler usually crashes into slowed or stopped traffic for one or more of the same few reasons--most commonly speeding, following too closely, fatigue, or distraction. I'm not saying any of those was necessarily involved on I-10, as they aren't the only possible explanations for what happened. However, in most of these situations it's ultimately found the crash was avoidable and the driver just made a serious mistake. Add to that the truck's questionable paperwork and it seems like the driver and his employer should both receive some consequences for what happened.
Of course, neither of them are likely to agree with that. Just because a police report says the driver did something wrong doesn't mean that's set in stone, and in fact trucking companies are pretty notorious for arguing against any suggestion of wrongdoing. After long experience dealing with trucking firms, I suspect the company behind the San Felipe driver would reach for any explanation they can to avoid responsibility, no matter what he might have been up to just before plowing into the victims. We've worked on many cases where truck drivers were messing with their radios, reaching for something on the floor or between seats, digging in coolers, or even watching adult movies on their phones instead of looking at the road.
Victims often think they have those drivers dead-to-rights when police reports mention what they were doing instead of watching the road (or that they were operating unregistered trucks with fraudulent paper plates), but even when things seemed so clear on paper those drivers' employers insisted something else was to blame: Sudden and surprising mechanical or brake failures, sun glare, distraction from the flashing lights of nearby emergency vehicles, the victims stopped too suddenly for the driver to react...the excuses go on and on in an effort to lessen or even eliminate liability, and without abundant clear evidence and the right tools to deal with them they can be frustratingly effective.
The burden of countering and disproving those defenses falls to the victims and their families, and much of the evidence needed to do that is found with either the truck driver or the vehicle itself. However, the driver and his employer are under no obligation to simply hand anything over, so plaintiffs often work with independent investigators to obtain crucial information that the trucking company won't share of its own free will. Backing up a claim with a large amount of indisputable proof is key for getting victims and families the answers and the help they need and deserve.