• June 24, 2022

Christi Derouen Killed in Truck Accident on Highway 36 in Caldwell, TX

UPDATE (June 27, 2022): Reports have identified the victim of this accident as Christi Derouen.

Caldwell, TX — June 22, 2022, one person was fatally injured by a commercial vehicle's loose cargo on Highway 36 in Caldwell.

According to reports the incident happened around 6:00 p.m. along Highway 36 near Holy Temple Lane. Preliminary investigation suggests a Freightliner tractor-trailer was southbound on the highway when its cargo, which contained three large metal spools, struck the side of a railroad underpass.

The impact caused the cargo's restraining straps to break and one of the spools fell off the trailer, then struck a northbound Dodge 3500 pickup truck. After the impact the Dodge driver lost control and hit several guardrail support posts and a traffic sign.

The Dodge's driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A juvenile in the pickup received non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a Bryan hospital.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Christi Derouen Accident on Hwy 36 in Caldwell

It's hard to say exactly what went wrong here. Obviously the spool hitting the underpass is the triggering event of this terrible crash, but it's not yet clear why that happened. Were the spools wider than the truck's bed? Did the truck driver accidentally steer too close to the wall? Were the spools' restraints not sufficient to do the job?

It's important to find out the precise circumstances under which the spool got loose, because depending on why it did responsibility for the accident may change. If the truck driver was careless about where his truck went in the road, the accident's tragic results may be on his hands (and by extension his employer's). Likewise, if he or other employees failed to secure the spools onto the truck, they may have some answering to do. However, if another company loaded up the cargo and used insufficient straps to hold them down then they may have a share of the responsibility as well.

Christi Derouen Killed in Truck Accident on Highway 36 in Caldwell, TX

Later reports also say that inspectors found a laundry list of violations on the semi-truck and its trailer, from relatively small issues like wrong-colored marker lamps to far more serious issues like a damaged brake hose and no flags or markers on its oversized cargo. It doesn't speak well of the driver or the company behind him that they "put the load on the road" in a truck with several issues.

People may roll their eyes and see an attorney flailing around for someone to sue, but that's not the point. Someone lost her life in this accident, and it sure doesn't look like that was through any fault of her own. It seems only right that the parties truly responsible for her family's terrible loss answer for their negligence. Will law enforcement look carefully enough to learn the whole story?

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