• August 23, 2022

Shala Morgan Killed in Auto Accident on State Highway 71 in Austin, TX

UPDATE (August 25, 2022): The victim who died in this accident has been identified as 52-year-old Shala Morgan.

Austin, TX — August 22, 2022, one person died in an early-morning multi-vehicle accident on State Highway 71 in Austin.

Reports say the incident happened shortly before 5:15 a.m. on the 8600 block of West SH 71 at Covered Bridge Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests an eastbound International box truck allegedly failed to reduce speed or maintain distance from five vehicles stopped at the intersection's red light. The truck crashed into two vehicles, causing a chain-reaction collision with three more.

One person died in the crash despite life-saving efforts at the scene. Another person was injured but reportedly did not require transportation to a hospital.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Shala Morgan Killed in Auto Accident on State Highway 71 in Austin, TX

Commentary on Shala Morgan Accident on SH 71 in Austin

Frankly speaking, a truck most often plows into slowed or stopped traffic because its driver did something wrong. That doesn't have to be the case in Austin, of course, but it's pretty telling that even preliminary reports say the truck driver "failed to maintain appropriate distance." If that's accurate, it could mean this is yet another crash that should have been avoidable but for a trucker's negligence.

Of course, even if that's the case the driver and his employer aren't required to agree. Many folks affected by a crash like this assume the company behind that truck will have no room to dispute liability, but even when a trucker's fault seems clear on paper their employers typically say something else was to blame: Sudden and surprising mechanical or brake failures, bad roads, sun glare, the victims stopped too suddenly for the driver to react...I've warned many people not to underestimate the creativity of a defense team.

The important takeaway here is that few commercial truck accidents are as cut-and-dried as a few sentences in the news make them seem. Companies will spring into action afterward to prepare defenses and avoid responsibility, so victims and families must take steps of their own to be ready for that. Click below to learn more.

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