Teen Driver Injured in Crash with 18-Wheeler on TX-322 in Rusk County
Rusk County, TX -- April 18, 2022, a teen driver was airlifted to a hospital after her SUV collided with tractor-trailer on State Highway 322 in Rusk County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 4:10 p.m. along Highway 322 at County Road 243A. Preliminary investigation suggests a Mack truck with a trailer was headed north on the highway as a Ford Escape SUV traveled south in the opposite lane, ahead of a Dodge Durango.
For unclear reasons the Ford driver reportedly crossed over the center line and entered the oncoming lane in a curve. The car hit the front-left quarter of the semi-truck; it dragged down the left side of the trailer and hit its axle. The car then rebounded off the west side of the road and came to rest in the bar ditch. The Dodge driver swerved to avoid the crash ahead and also ended up in the west ditch.
The Ford's 16-year-old driver was extricated from the damaged vehicle and then was airlifted to an area hospital. The Dodge driver told investigators the teen had crossed over the center line multiple times before the crash.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Truck Accident on TX-322 in Rusk County
Crashes involving teenagers often get quickly written off because people just assume that the young driver was somehow reckless. In the Rusk County crash the Dodge driver's word that the teenager crossed left of center several times probably leads many to think this is another example of simple teen recklessness.
It's true that young drivers do tend to make mistakes at the wheel that more experienced ones wouldn't. I'm not saying anyone should rule that out as more evidence is gathered to tell the whole story. I mean it's important not to simply blame the victim based solely on preliminary reports. There are still other aspects of the wreck that must be considered to understand the whole picture. Was the SUV in good repair? Its alignment, steering, tires? How fast was it traveling? What was the young driver doing inside the vehicle? There was also a 13-year-old in the passenger seat; would he be able to shed any light on what happened? Is the curve in the road too steep or hazardous in any way? Did it affect visibility or sightlines?
Some of those possibilities aren't particularly common, but they still contribute to crashes all the time. Getting people the answers and help they need should always be a priority, which in this and many other cases means finding the necessary evidence to tell the story only with facts. Were those steps taken here, or did authorities just write this off as "just another reckless kid?"