• June 15, 2022

Otis Oneil Injured in Truck Accident on TX-249 in Grimes County, TX

UPDATE (July 20, 2022): The victim of this accident has been identified as 72-year-old Otis Danie Oneil.

Grimes County, TX -- June 14, 2022, one person was injured in a crash between a pickup and an 18-wheeler along State Highway 249 in Grimes County.

According to reports the incident happened around 7:20 a.m. on TX-249 by TX-105, near a construction zone. Preliminary investigation suggests a Freightliner tractor-trailer was eastbound on the highway in the marked and active construction area when vehicles ahead slowed for someone waiting to turn left into a private drive.

Reports say the truck driver was following the other vehicles too closely and was unable to slow down in time to avoid them. He swerved left to try and avoid them, but crossed into the westbound lanes where he collided with a Chevrolet Silverado. Both trucks then ran off the road to the north and the big rig overturned.

The pickup driver suffered a broken leg in the crash and was taken to a Bryan hospital. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Otis Oneil Accident on TX-249 in Grimes County

It sounds from reports like the truck driver is largely to blame for this unfortunate accident. Police say he followed traffic too closely (a risky thing to do in a 40-ton big rig at highway speeds) and also took faulty evasive maneuvers that resulted in the crash. All told this probably seems pretty open-and-shut to people reading about it.

Here's the thing, though: Few if any commercial truck accidents are really that simple. People who've never crashed with an 18-wheeler, lucky as they are, probably don't know about all the headaches waiting for those who do. The default position of essentially any company is to deny responsibility as long as it can because it has assets and its reputation to protect. Most will bitterly dispute liability and drag things out as long as they can rather than simply help the people hurt by their employees.

Otis Oneil Injured in Truck Accident on TX-249 in Grimes County, TX

A trucking defense attorney will get inventive when trying to find other scapegoats for the damage done in an accident like this. They might say the cars ahead of the truck stopped too suddenly for him to react, that the construction zone kicked up dust that made things hard to see, or--if they're feeling particularly punchy--that the victim was speeding or not wearing a seat belt and that's what really hurt him. If that seems cold-blooded, well, companies aren't shy about pointing fingers if it means getting out of the spotlight.

To be sure they can't do that, the victim will need abundant clear proof of what really happened. Police will create a rough sketch of events but often lack the time or resources to dig deeper into the less-obvious details that can make so much difference. A more comprehensive investigation is often needed; will that be done here?

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