Paul Golibart Killed by Semi-Truck in Hit-and-Run on TX-176 in Martin County
UPDATE (June 9, 2022): Reports have identified the victim of this hit-and-run crash as 59-year-old Paul Anthony Golibart. The truck driver that hit him and then fled the scene, 28-year-old Christopher Carman, was arrested for felony accident involving personal injury or death.
Martin County, TX -- June 6, 2022, a motorcyclist was struck and killed by an 18-wheeler in a hit-and-run on State Highway 176 in Martin County.
According to reports the incident happened around 12:45 p.m. on Highway 176, around 8 miles west of Tarzan. Preliminary investigation suggests that a Freightliner semi-truck was traveling west on the highway when the driver attempted to turn right onto northbound County Road 2601. While turning the truck hit the back of a Honda motorcycle, knocking the rider off.
The motorcyclist suffered fatal injuries in the accident.
The truck driver left the scene but was located the next day near Tarzan. Reports say the driver's employers are cooperating with the investigation.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Hit-and-Run on Hwy 176 in Martin County
I'm glad to learn that authorities found the runaway truck and its driver in short order. Hopefully that will lead to some answers about why he left the scene, but I caution against thinking he'll tearfully confess and strive to make amends right away.
Here's the thing about truck accidents: Truck drivers and the companies behind them are rarely interested in automatically or immediately doing the right thing after they happen. Whether a big rig plows into stopped traffic or hits a motorcycle and takes off, there's always some denial or deflection ready if they're confronted.
In Martin County that might be an old standby like the truck driver not seeing the motorcycle (which was bright yellow according to reports) or the rider doing something unsafe like cutting the truck off. Playing off a general public mistrust of motorcyclists has gotten many at-fault drivers off the hook, and trucking defense attorneys are happy to do the same.
I'd love to be wrong about how this might go if the victim's loved ones sought help from the company. Reports say it's cooperating with investigators, but that only means it's not refusing to answer questions--not that it's jumping at the chance to make things right with the family of the person whose life was cut short.
To make sure that part happens the victim's family will likely need clear and plentiful evidence of what really happened, which probably involves getting things from the company that it will NOT share of its own free will. Having the right allies who know what to look for and how to get it can be invaluable in the pursuit of real justice.