• October 21, 2022

One Killed in Crash with Two 18-Wheelers on I-35 near Hillsboro, TX

Hillsboro, TX — October 20, 2022, one person died in a collision with two 18-wheelers on Interstate 35 in Hill County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 5:30 p.m. along northbound I-35E near mile marker 373, north of Hillsboro. Preliminary investigation suggests a Hyundai Elantra was traveling north in the left lane of the highway when it crashed into the back-right quarter of a Freightliner semi-truck's trailer. Reports indicate the Freightliner was disabled in the inside improved shoulder; its hazard lights were activated and reflective triangles were placed behind it, but it was also partially over the fog line in the travel lane.

After the impact with the semi-trailer the Hyundai spun away and hit a Volvo semi-truck and trailer in the right lane. It continued spinning and the driver was ejected onto the roadway.

The Hyundai driver suffered fatal injuries. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Truck Accident on I-35 near Hillsboro

Some may look at the description of this incident and think it more or less covers things. However, long experience has taught me that few crashes--particularly those involving commercial vehicles--are that straightforward.

For instance, while investigators pointed out the disabled truck's driver took precautions by putting out reflective triangles, they also said his big rig was jutting at least partially into the road's travel lanes. Did he misjudge where to stop, or was the truck too wide for the shoulder? If so, could the truck have reached the outside shoulder instead? Was it truly so damaged that it had to stop in a place that at least partially put people at risk? Could its disabling damage have been foreseen or addressed by maintenance?

Lest it seem like I'm only considering ways to make this the truck driver's fault, there are also clearly questions about how and why the car hit the disabled 18-wheeler. Was the Hyundai traveling close to the fog line for some reason, or did it drift off-course as it approached the big rig? In either case, why? Was anything wrong with the car? Was the driver in good health?

One Killed in Crash with Two 18-Wheelers on I-35 near Hillsboro, TX

I'm not trying to point fingers or fill in the many blanks with speculation. I'm only saying it's important to learn as many clear details as possible to make the clearest picture of events. Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, and those affected by the wreck's sad outcome deserve to know that no stone was left unturned in search of the whole story. Will law enforcement make that effort here, or should independent experts have another look?

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