William Cantrell, Teen Killed in Smith County, TX 18-Wheeler Accident on Toll 49
Smith County, TX -- August 8, 2022, 46-year-old William Cantrell and his teen passenger were killed when a semi-truck overturned off Toll Road 49 in Smith County.
According to reports the incident happened just after noon on the ramp between Toll 49 and State Highway 110. Preliminary investigation suggests Cantrell was driving a Peterbilt 18-wheeler north on the toll road when he allegedly entered the ramp at an unsafe speed and lost control in the curve. The truck ran off the road and overturned, losing its cargo of grass pallets.
Cantrell and his 17-year-old passenger were pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on William Cantrell Accident in Smith County
I frequently have to remind people after crashes like this that learning the cause of the wreck is really just one piece of the puzzle. However crucial it may be to pin down what specifically sent the truck off the road (police seem to think speeding was the culprit), there may be other less-obvious factors to evaluate as well--including the proximate cause of the victims' injuries, which in many cases isn't the same as the cause of the crash itself.
One major factor that too often flies under the radar is poor vehicle design or construction. The trucking industry has some serious problems with how many of its big rigs are put together. Most relevant to the Smith County crash, they tend to crumple much too easily under their own weight--turning many rollover wrecks from serious to fatal when they didn't necessarily have to be.
That's one of several possible issues that could have been at work in this terrible incident. Click the image below for a more in-depth look at problems surrounding truck rollovers.