• July 12, 2022

Joseph and Kathleen Harrott Injured in Walker County, TX Truck Accident on TX-19

Walker County, TX — June 24, 2022, Joseph and Kathleen Harrott were injured in a crash with a commercial truck on State Highway 19 in Walker County.

According to reports the incident happened around 11:25 a.m. on TX-19 near Jim White Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a commercial GMC truck was slowly traveling south in the left-turn-only lane of the highway, trying to shield a riding mower in the area from oncoming vehicles.

Reports say the GMC suddenly merged into the left southbound travel lane, directly into the path of the Harrotts' Nissan Murano. Driver Joseph Harrott, 71, was unable to avoid the truck and crashed into its rear. After the impact the Nissan ran off the west side of the road.

Joseph Harrott and his passenger Kathleen Harrott, 58, were seriously injured in the wreck. The GMC driver received possible injuries.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Joseph and Kathleen Harrott Accident in Walker County

Reports seem pretty straightforward that the truck driver's unsafe merge was the root cause of this accident--and also allege the same driver was operating commercially without a valid CDL, though it's unclear on whose behalf.

Some may think that the driver and by extension his employer are pretty much guaranteed to be on the hook for the damage done, but preliminary reports aren't set in stone and the company is free to argue with them until the cows come home. The burden of proving the truck driver was truly to blame for the crash falls to the victims, all while the company's attorneys try to muddy the waters and redirect blame. It may seem like that couldn't happen if the truck pulled right into the victims' path, but I have cautioned many people in the past not to underestimate the creativity or dedication of defense teams.

Joseph and Kathleen Harrott Injured in Walker County, TX Truck Accident on TX-19

Another crash I heard about recently illustrates that warning perfectly: An 18-wheeler veered onto a highway's shoulder and hit a man changing a flat tire, causing him fatal harm. His family's attorney thought the facts were clear enough that he didn't have to prepare for the company to fight back in court.

Unfortunately, the defense team caught them completely off-guard by claiming the truck lost control due to a faulty part manufactured by a foreign company. Because the attorney didn't have clear evidence to refute that, somehow the absurd argument convinced the jury. They put all of the blame on the part's manufacturer, leaving the victim's family with little more than an empty chair to pursue as they sought answers and accountability.

That crash and the one in Walker County obviously aren't identical, but victims of almost any commercial wreck should expect pushback and stonewalling from the company. Will the necessary facts be found so the folks in the Highway 19 crash can get the help they deserve?

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