Christy Hoffer, Wade Slagle, Mona Nesbitt, Child Killed in Gonzales County, TX Truck Accident
Gonzales County, TX — July 6, 2022, Christy Hoffer, Wade Slagle, Mona Nesbitt, and a child were killed in a six-vehicle crash on Interstate 10 in Gonzales County.
According to reports the incident happened around 11:20 a.m. along eastbound I-10 near the town of Waelder. Preliminary investigation suggests Slagle was driving a Volvo tractor-trailer east on the highway when he approached slowed traffic near a construction area. Slagle allegedly failed to control the truck's speed and crashed into a BMW vehicle driven by Nesbitt. The truck then hit several other vehicles in a crash that ultimately involved three tractor-trailers and three passenger vehicles.
Slagle, his passenger Hoffer, Nesbitt, and an 11-year-old girl in the BMW were pronounced dead at the scene. A boy from the BMW was airlifted from the scene to a San Antonio hospital for treatment of serious injuries.
The crash remains under investigation. No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Gonzales County Truck Accident on I-10
I don't want to speak ill of the truck driver who lost his life in this accident, but I think most would agree it's important to find out why things went the way they did. His failure to slow seems to be the triggering event for the crash and its tragic aftermath, so determining the reason for it is important for everyone's sake.
Typically when a big rig runs into slowed or stopped traffic it's due to some manner of driver error, like distraction or following too closely. That doesn't have to be the case in Gonzales County, and investigators should certainly look into issues beyond the driver's control like road hazards or brake failure. However, in most of these situations it's ultimately found the accident was avoidable and the truck driver just made a serious mistake.
Even if that's the case, though, the driver's employer isn't likely to agree or automatically accept responsibility for his error. It's unfortunate but true that most trucking companies will do everything they can to dispute liability if their employees hurt other people while on the job. That's why careful and thorough investigation and rounding up all the available evidence are so important: When clear and indisputable facts tell the story, there's less room for denial or "creative" interpretations of what happened.
A few sentences in the news and even police reports are seldom enough to ensure the victims get the answers and help they deserve. That's why I often tell people who call the firm that it's best to conduct their own investigations with the help of independent professionals. Armed with the evidence a trained accident reconstruction expert finds, many people have successfully held trucking companies accountable for the damage their employees did. It's terrible that in this instance the truck driver also lost his life, but everyone affected by the accident deserves all the help they can get.