Benjamin Strickland Killed in Belton, TX Motorcycle Accident on I-35
Belton, TX — September 27, 2022, 27-year-old Benjamin Strickland died in a collision with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 35 in Bell County.
Authorities say the incident happened Tuesday morning along I-35 near mile marker 294. Preliminary investigation suggests Strickland was riding a Suzuki motorcycle south in the right lane of the highway, possibly at high speeds, when police believe he allegedly tried to "split lanes" between a Peterbilt 18-wheeler and a Kenworth three-axle straight truck.
The motorcycle reportedly hit the left side of the straight truck, then swerved into the rear tandem axle of the truck tractor, then finally hit the outside tire of its fifth axle.
Strickland was ejected from the motorcycle during the collision; he was then run over by the rear tandem tire of the straight truck. Later reports indicate he may have been struck a final time by an 18-wheeler passing through the crash site with traffic, after which the big rig fled without stopping. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Benjamin Strickland Accident in Belton
Maybe police investigators got all the specifics of this accident correct after their time at the scene, but long experience has taught me it's best to try and find out whether anything else--maybe something harder to detect during a preliminary once-over--was involved.
For instance, are investigators certain the rider actually wanted to travel between the trucks? Is it possible that something forced him to make a last-second decision, like the truck ahead of him braking abruptly and making him veer toward the only open space? Moreover, once he was between the trucks why was there a collision? Were the big rigs traveling close together in their respective lanes, or did the gap narrow somehow as the victim rode between them?
I want to be clear that I don't know more than reports currently say, and I'm making no accusations. I know that motorcyclists sometimes make risky choices, as any type of vehicle's operators do. My point isn't to argue with police findings, just that it's important to keep an open mind and consider all the possibilities. A full investigation should be conducted to ensure nothing has been overlooked; at the very least the victim's loved ones deserve to know the whole story.