• April 27, 2022

One Injured in Crash with 18-Wheeler on US-84 in Garza County, TX

Garza County, TX -- April 6, 2022, a 42-year-old man was seriously injured in a crash with an 18-wheeler on U.S. Highway 84 in Garza County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 1:45 a.m. on US-84 near mile marker 352. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was driving a GMC Sierra pickup truck east on the highway when the driver drifted left and partially entered the median. He steered briefly back into the road and then once again veered left, passing through the grassy median and entering the westbound lanes. The pickup then crashed into an axle on a westbound Peterbilt tractor-trailer.

The GMC driver was seriously injured in the crash. The big rig driver was unhurt.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Truck Accident on US-84 in Garza County

After reading the initial details in reports some folks may be ready to say the incident, while unfortunate, falls mostly on the driver who crossed through the median and hit the big rig. Police even mention a belief that driver might have briefly fallen asleep and lost control.

I have no reason to doubt reports or that conclusion, but at the same time it's still important to carefully investigate what happened and other possible explanations for it. Could the pickup have blown a tire or had a mechanical failure of some kind? Did the driver really fall asleep, or did he have some kind of incapacitating medical episode? Was he distracted by something when he initially left the road? Is it possible he was impaired at the time? I don't mean that as an accusation in any way, but rather to acknowledge a factor that often pops up in early-morning wrecks like this one (much like sleepy driving).

One Injured in Crash with 18-Wheeler on US-84 in Garza County, TX

Of course, the driver's reason for losing control isn't the only detail that needs further investigation. If reports have their facts straight the commercial driver may have been driving with a suspended license when the crash occurred. More than that, he was allegedly not in compliance with Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse guidelines and the brake chambers on one axle of his truck didn't match. Put all those concerns together and you have yourself a gumbo of reasons that truck and driver probably should have been out of commission rather than plowing along on a national highway.

Some may consider those issues coincidental to the crash, since even on a suspended license and with a dicey truck it wasn't the commercial driver who swerved through the median. That may be true, but knowing the trucker shouldn't have been there at all should be more than enough reason to take a long and careful look at his employer and how they let him behind the wheel. If a company lets suspended drivers with substance violations and mismatched brake chambers head out in their name, that firm needs to take a good look inward and fix many bad practices as soon as possible. If the crash victim can seek help with his injuries on top of that, so much the better.

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