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. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Benjamin Strickland Accident in Belton
News reports paint a picture of a motorcyclist possibly making a dangerous maneuver and tragedy following close behind. Maybe that's the case and there's little else to say, but long experience has taught me it's best to try and find out whether anything else--maybe something harder to detect during a basic police once-over--was involved.
For instance, are investigators absolutely sure that the motorcycle traveled between the trucks as a conscious decision by the rider? 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 available open space? Moreover, once he was between the trucks why did the bike collide with one? Were the big rigs traveling close together in their respective lanes, or could one or the other have narrowed the gap between them as the victim rode there?
I want to be clear that I don't know more than reports currently say, and despite how the above questions may come across I am making no accusations. I know that motorcyclists sometimes make regrettable choices, the same as any vehicle's operators do. Maybe that's really all that happened here. My point isn't to argue with police findings, just that it's important to keep an open mind and consider all the possibilities rather than zeroing in immediately on a plausible story and refusing to budge. 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.