Eric Fierro Jr. Killed in Truck Accident on US-60 in Parmer County, TX
Parmer County, TX — August 25, 2022, 34-year-old Eric Fierro Jr. died in a rear-end crash with a tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 60 in Parmer County.
According to reports the incident happened around 12:40 a.m. along US-60 near Railroad Road, east of Friona. Preliminary investigation suggests a Freightliner 18-wheeler was headed west on the highway, followed at some distance by Fierro in a Jeep Cherokee.
The big rig allegedly slowed while entering a turn lane, preparing to turn south onto FM 1172. Fierro had just entered the left lane behind the truck as he passed another vehicle; the Jeep then collided with the rear of the slowing Freightliner.
Fierro was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.
Reports say the truck completed its left turn and lost four bales of hay from its cargo onto the roadway. It then traveled south for roughly 30 miles before law enforcement located it.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Eric Fierro Jr. Accident in Parmer County
Early news reports about this accident said little more than that the victim's Jeep hit the back of a slowed big rig; taken on their face they suggested that the crash, like many rear-end wrecks, might have been the tragic outcome of a careless rear driver. HOWEVER, later investigations (which we used to update our narrative above) shed some troubling light on what happened.
Once police had a chance to gather more facts it seems the truck that slowed down was carrying a load-extender on its trailer, allowing it to carry numerous bales of hay. The person passed by the victim just before the crash said the hay may have partially obscured the trailer's dim rear lights, meaning the victim may not have realized the truck was slowing a short distance ahead of him.
That alone might drastically change how the accident was understood, but apparently the truck also completed its turn and traveled thirty miles after the collision and after losing four bales of its cargo. I'm not a professional truck driver, but surely it must be very hard to "miss" the noise and chaos of another vehicle crashing into a trailer--followed by thousand of pounds of cargo falling off. Why then did the truck leave the scene?
All in all it seems a great deal like there's more to consider here besides a simple rear-end crash or a passing maneuver gone awry. I'm not saying that wasn't a factor, but the other details of the accident could arguably have made a bad situation much worse and someone may need to answer for that. If police don't plan to follow up, though, maybe independent experts working on the family's behalf should step in to get them more answers--and if necessary, accountability from those responsible for their loss.