Jimmy Williams Killed in Auto-Pedestrian Accident on US-259 in Nacogdoches County, TX
Nacogdoches County, TX -- May 4, 2022, 41-year-old Jimmy Williams was killed in an auto-pedestrian accident on U.S. Highway 259 in Nacogdoches County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 11:15 p.m. on US-259 near Central Heights. Preliminary investigation suggests that a Toyota Yaris was headed south in the outside lane of the roadway when it approached and struck Williams, who was walking south in the same lane.
Williams was pronounced dead at the scene. The Toyota driver, 44-year-old April Gann, was unhurt.
The crash remains under investigation. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Jimmy Williams Accident on US-259 in Nacogdoches County
Pedestrian accidents can be complex despite many people thinking they aren't. I've heard "Either the pedestrian was in a crosswalk or they were at fault" more times than I care to count. However, virtually every accident--including those with pedestrians--is more nuanced than that.
For instance, in an auto-pedestrian collision like the one above the law considers all its variables to determine how avoidable it was (or should have been). Put simply, even if a pedestrian walks somewhere he shouldn't drivers still have a responsibility to avoid him if at all possible. That means if someone acting in all ways as a reasonably prudent person would (hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, sober, etc) could arguably have seen and avoided the victim, then one who hit him may have done something wrong. However, if investigation shows the driver truly couldn't have done anything else then the law likely wouldn't hold them accountable.
To find out which may apply, there are still questions to resolve about what happened. Why was the pedestrian in the road late at night? Where did they come from before getting on the highway? What about the driver? How long was the victim walking before the vehicle passed through? How visible was he? Is that area lit at night? Were the car's headlights on? Was the driver's attention fully on the road? Did other drivers successfully avoid the pedestrian? Could or should anything else have been done to avoid the collision or reduce its damage?
I'm not accusing anyone of wrongdoing here or saying I know more than police investigators. Ultimately I'm only saying what I so often do: Even if preliminary reports seem fairly straightforward and paint a picture of someone in the road at a bad time, it's always best to carefully investigate all the possible factors in search of the whole truth. If there are other issues to consider, that will only be learned by finding all the details.