Jose Rojas-Resendiz, Paula Rojas, 2 Children Killed in Hamilton County, TX Truck Accident
Hamilton County, TX — June 2, 2022, 45-year-old Jose Rojas-Resendiz and his passengers were killed in a head-on crash with an 18-wheeler in Hamilton County.
According to reports the incident happened shortly before 2:45 p.m. on U.S. Highway 281 near mile marker 358, around eight miles north of Hamilton. Preliminary investigation suggests Rojas-Resendiz was driving a Ford F-150 pickup south on the highway as a Kenworth tractor-trailer was northbound in the same area.
Reports indicate the Ford drifted left of center into the path of the oncoming big rig. The two collided in the road, causing the pickup to catch fire and become engulfed in flames. Two juveniles in the pickup were also ejected by the impact.
Rojas-Resendiz, 25-year-old passenger Paula Rojas, and the two ejected children were pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was unhurt..
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Jose Rojas-Resendiz Accident on US-281 in Hamilton County
The news suggests the victim may have triggered this wreck by crossing left of center. However, it's important to remember that early reports from news sources and police aren't always 100% right.
I recently worked on a similar wreck in which a victim supposedly crossed the center line and crashed with an 18-wheeler. We looked again on behalf of the victim's family and our investigators learned he was only in the opposite lane to escape the truck, which crossed over first. It turned out the trucker fell asleep and drifted out of his lane, only to wake up when the victim honked at him. He then swerved back into his lane, once again on a collision course with the victim.
The victim couldn't avoid the truck again, but he surely wasn't to blame for the crash. Because police found both vehicles in the truck's lane when they got there, though, they said the victim crossed over. There were no witnesses but the sleepy trucker, who felt no need to set the record straight. If we hadn't looked again--more carefully than authorities did--the wrong person might have taken the blame forever.
I'm not saying anything like that happened in Hamilton County. Even if authorities are 100% sure the pickup crossed over first, though, there's still the question of why. Some may reflexively blame distraction, speeding, or some other common factors, but there are many other reasons someone might lose control. Could the Ford have blown a tire or had a mechanical failure? What about the driver--did he have some kind of medical episode at the wheel? Things like that may not be as common as texting or falling asleep, but they can't be dismissed without proper investigation.
The takeaway here is that things aren't always as straightforward as they first appear. Unfortunately police don't always look carefully enough to learn the whole truth, especially if they land on a plausible narrative for their reports and then stick with it.
Ensuring the full story is found often requires independent accident reconstruction experts with the time and training to do a more thorough job. At the very least, the victims' loved ones deserve to know every effort was made to bring them answers. Any steps beyond that would depend on what those answers are.