• May 12, 2022

Deputy Robert Adam Howard Killed in 18-wheeler Accident in Houston, TX

Houston, TX -- May 11, 2022, Deputy Robert Adam Howard was killed following an accident where the deputy's patrol vehicle crashed with an 18-wheeler.

Authorities reported that the crash took place Wednesday afternoon in the area of Highway 249 and Spring Cypress Road.

According to initial reports, Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Adam Howard was in a patrol vehicle traveling northbound on the highway. Somehow, that vehicle crashed into the back of an 18-wheeler which had reportedly just pulled onto the left shoulder.

Due to the collision, Deputy Howard sustained fatal injuries. Right now, specific factors surrounding the crash are unavailable.

Commentary on Deputy Robert Howard 18-wheeler Accident in Houston

It just makes my blood boil how many insensitive, reckless comments there are on news sites from people all but clamoring to blame this officer. To be clear up front, I do not know what happened here. I also can't deny that a vehicle hitting an 18-wheeler on the shoulder is often a sign that the driver was doing something wrong, such as looking at their phone. But to just jump to conclusions without an ounce of evidence is outright disrespectful to the victim's loved ones. Not only does it offer no help to them, it ignores the very real possibility that the victim did absolutely nothing wrong here.

I've been helping families with commercial vehicle wrecks for 30 years. Folks would be shocked at some of the details that can slip under the radar until more thorough investigations are complete. One commenter I saw, for example, was under the impression that this 18-wheeler was actually protruding into the lane of travel. I can't say if that's true, due to limited evidence. However, that is something prudent investigators definitely consider in these situations. There can be extenuating circumstances that make a vehicle primarily responsible for a crash despite not moving.

Deputy Robert Adam Howard 18-wheeler Accident Houston, TX

For example, I handled a situation a while back in which a truck broke down on the highway, leading to a fatal wreck. But when we actually dug into things, it turned out the truck broke down because that company neglected necessary repairs for months. Not only that, but the truck driver made no effort to mark the obstruction, and he even pulled over immediately despite the fact he could have continued until he was safely off the highway. With a situation like that, it was clear that the deadly obstruction created by those mistakes combined led to the serious crash.

Could it be that the same happened here? It's certainly possible. It's also possible the victim made a mistake, and it's also possible something highly unusual neither driver could control led to the collision. The point here is that people jumping to conclusions before the family has even held a funeral is just unacceptable. Until professionals have a chance to look into what exactly happened here, people need to withhold their judgments and focus on what can be done for the family.

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