• May 09, 2022

Sheila Baker, Melvin Johnson Injured in Crash on Fort Hood Street in Killeen, TX

UPDATE (May 25, 2022): The people injured in this crash have been identified as Kia driver Sheila Baker, 57, and Nissan driver Melvin Johnson, 46.

Killeen, TX -- May 6, 2022, two people were seriously injured in a four-vehicle crash involving a semi-truck on Fort Hood Street in Killeen.

Authorities say the incident happened around 9:45 p.m. on the 12000 block of South Fort Hood Street near Chaparral Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a Freightliner semi-truck with a flatbed trailer was blocking the street as it backed into parking lot. As the truck reversed a southbound Kia Sportage crashed into its trailer. A Nissan Versa slowed to turn into the driveway the truck was backing into in an effort to avoid it, but was hit from behind by a Mercedes sedan.

The Kia driver was airlifted to an area hospital in critical conduction. The Nissan driver was also hospitalized wow non-incapacitating injuries. No other injuries were reported.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Sheila Baker, Melvin Johnson Accident on Fort Hood St in Killeen

UPDATE (May 25, 2022): Later reports about this crash say it happened in a poorly-lit area but the truck and trailer's lights were activated as it reversed. That still doesn't exactly explain why a professional truck driver felt it prudent and/or justified to block the road to reverse into that property's driveway. Was it so crucial to enter backwards? Was there no way to enter the parking lot and then maneuver once off the road?

I'm not trying to get on the truck driver's case too hard here; I wasn't there and preliminary reports don't usually have the full scoop. It just seems to me that if the road was busy enough that three cars hit the truck in rapid succession, it may not be a friendly place to pull a cumbersome maneuver like reversing a loaded big rig. If there was a better or safer way to do things and the truck driver opted not to, there may be some questions of negligence to settle and the injured victims may deserve some help from the company behind that truck.

Sheila Baker, Melvin Johnson Injured in Crash on Fort Hood Street in Killeen, TX

ORIGINAL: Police seem to have a fair handle on what happened here, but they're still short on answers about why things went that way. All reports can say right now is that a truck blocked the road and some vehicles crashed into it. How did that happen? Was the truck hard to see? Were its lights on? Were its reflectors clean? Is that area lit up at night? Did the truck pull suddenly into the path of the oncoming vehicles? If not, how much time passed between the truck entering the road and the cars hitting it? Were the victims paying attention to their surroundings? Did the truck driver check for traffic before starting his maneuver?

I'm not asking these questions to overcomplicate things or point fingers. Right now it's just hard to say with certainty who the law might consider responsible for the damage done. It's a safe bet that the company behind that truck and driver would argue the victims were to blame, but only the facts found through careful investigation should tell the story. Will police give this matter the attention it deserves, or would the victims be better served by an independent investigation?

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