• July 14, 2022

Jack Burleson Injured in Crash with 18-Wheeler on I-45 in Rice, TX

Rice, TX — July 1, 2022, 34-year-old Jack Burleson was seriously injured in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 45 in Navarro County.

According to reports the incident happened around 8:45 p.m. on I-45 near mile marker 237. Preliminary investigation suggests a Peterbilt 18-wheeler was traveling north in the right lane of the right as Burleson drove a Saturn Vue behind it. Reports say he attempted to pass the truck on the left but hit the back left of the semi-trailer, at which point the Saturn became wedged beneath it.

Burleson suffered serious injuries in the wreck. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Jack Burleson Accident on I-45 in Rice

Some may feel this situation, while unfortunate, is pretty self-explanatory if the car ran into the back of the truck. Many folks believe the rear driver is automatically at fault in a situation like that, but that's not actually true. The law looks at the full context of accidents to learn whether anything else played a part in the damage done.

Among the important facts still to learn would probably be things like both vehicles' speeds, whether both drivers were paying attention to their surroundings, if the big rig braked suddenly for some reason ahead of the car, if the road was somehow hazardous, what any other nearby vehicles were doing, and many other details.

Another one that often goes unnoticed is whether the 18-wheeler had an intact underride guard, also called a Mansfield bar, meant to keep vehicles from going underneath the trailer during rear-end crashes. They aren't magic and they can't stop every incoming crash, but if they're properly maintained they can often keep a serious rear-end crash from becoming fatal.

Jack Burleson Injured in Crash with 18-Wheeler on I-45 in Rice, TX

Unfortunately, some firms put off repairs and maintenance checks to save money, particularly on parts they consider "non-essential" like the underride guard. A frustrated truck driver once played us recordings of his supervisor telling drivers to spray-paint over rusted guards instead of replacing them since "they don't matter."

Reports don't say the truck driver did anything wrong or that the truck was in bad shape, and I'm not suggesting either just by asking that all possible factors be considered. My point is that many additional factors beyond "who hit whom" must be accounted for after a collision like this. People read about someone rear-ending a truck and think "case closed," but without looking at all the possible issues the investigation isn't really complete. At the very least the victim's loved ones deserve as many answers as they can get.

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