One Injured in Crash with Stopped 18-Wheeler on I-35N in San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, TX — June 16, 2022, a man was critically injured after crashing into a parked 18-wheeler on the shoulder of Interstate 35 in San Antonio.
According to reports the incident happened shortly after 3:00 a.m. on I-35 North near Eisenhauer Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a semi-truck was disabled on the roadside waiting for a tow truck when the victim approached in a pickup and crashed into the back of it for unknown reasons.
Emergency crews rescued the pickup driver with the Jaws of Life and transported him to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Truck Accident on I-35N in San Antonio
Federal law is pretty specific about when and why a commercial truck can stop in or near the road. Under the law a commercial driver should only pull over for emergencies like disabling vehicular failures or major medical issues. Moreover, they're required to put out cones or reflective triangles at 50-foot intervals behind the stopped truck.
News reports say the truck was waiting on a tow, suggesting it was disabled. That's a valid reason to pull onto the roadside, though it's unknown if the driver put out cones or reflectors after stopping. Investigators, either police or independent experts, should learn that and other details.
Speaking of those, I won't ignore the elephant in the room: The victim leaving the roadway and hitting the truck. Clearly it's important to find out exactly why that occurred. Was the road wet or otherwise hazardous? Did the victim's truck have some kind of mechanical or tire failure? At that late hour, is it possible they fell asleep? Might they have been under the influence of alcohol?
I'm not making accusations, but that last question is of particular importance. If the driver was drunk when they hit the big rig, a local business may be partly responsible for the damage done under Texas dram shop law. That business might then have a duty to help the victim get back on his feet. It's an important detail to know, yet it often gets overlooked during police investigations.
The takeaway here is that it's always important to be careful and keep an open mind as the investigation continues. Rather than instantly blaming the driver who hit the big rig, it's crucial to learn how all the elements fit together. To be sure the whole truth is found, there likely needs to be a thorough examination by a skilled accident reconstructionist.