Morris Childers Killed in Crash with Box Truck on TX-94 in Angelina County
Angelina County, TX — October 7, 2022, 64-year-old Morris Childers was killed in a collision with a box truck on State Highway 94 in Angelina County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 6:00 a.m. on Highway 94 near Eason Lake Road. Preliminary investigation suggests an International box truck was westbound on the road when the driver allegedly swerved left into the oncoming lane to avoid another vehicle that stopped ahead. After entering the eastbound lane the box truck crashed head-on with Childers' Nissan Altima.
Childers was pronounced dead at the scene. An 11-year-old in the Nissan and the truck driver, 25-year-old Jterrius Henderson, were taken to a Lufkin hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.
The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Morris Childers Accident in Angelina County
UPDATE (November 30, 2022): Later investigative reports about this accident say the box truck driver claimed his brakes wouldn't work and he was forced to swerve. However, post-crash inspection of the truck showed brakes worked fine.
Is it possible that the truck's brakes somehow gave out in that one isolated moment and then worked again when police looked? Maybe. Is it more likely however that the driver blamed the brakes to direct attention away from his own mistakes? Definitely. If he wasn't paying attention or followed much too closely and swerved at the very last second, then his carelessness should be met with consequences. Moreover, the law says the company that put him behind the wheel of that truck should also be held accountable for what happened. The company won't agree with that in the least, though, so it's important that investigators--police, or if they've moved on then independent professionals--gather clear evidence of exactly what happened and who's at fault for it. Will that be done in Angelina County?
ORIGINAL: I'll be the first to say I wasn't at the scene of this accident personally, and I have no reason to doubt what preliminary reports say happened. However, I wonder if a few vague sentences in the news really tells the whole story. If the box truck driver had to swerve quickly to avoid the stopping vehicle, does that mean the truck driver was following it too closely? Was he awake, alert, and paying attention to his surroundings? Did the car that stopped ahead of him slow gradually or brake suddenly? If it was turning, did the driver signal their intent? How fast were the box truck and the victim's car traveling when they collided? Did the victim's safety devices (airbag, seat belts, etc) work properly?
I don't want to overcomplicate things or point fingers, but I can't help but notice that reports currently paint a picture of an innocent man minding his own business when suddenly he was on an unavoidable collision course with a commercial truck. That shouldn't be chalked up to simple coincidence unless every effort was first made to find the specific explanation. If the truck driver didn't act in all ways as a reasonably prudent professional should have, for example, then he and his employer may need to face some accountability for the damage done (though neither is likely to agree automatically). Only time and further investigation could say exactly what happened and what if anything should come next.