Truck Driver Injured in Tanker Rollover Accident on I-35 in La Salle County, TX
UPDATE (November 8, 2022): Investigators now say that the tanker truck in this crash went out of control when its front-left tire blew out. The blowout is considered the cause of the wreck.
La Salle County, TX — November 4, 2022, a tanker truck driver was critically injured in a rollover accident on Interstate 35 in La Salle County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 10:00 a.m. on I-35 near mile marker 45. Preliminary investigation suggests only that a big rig with a tank trailer was traveling on the highway when the driver, a man in his mid-30s, may have lost control. The truck overturned and crashed, scattering parts and debris across both sides of the roadway. The truck tractor also detached from the trailer during the rollover.
The truck driver was transported to a San Antonio hospital in critical condition.
The crash remains under investigation. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Tanker Rollover Crash on I-35 in La Salle County
UPDATE (November 8, 2022): With the latest reports saying a tire blowout caused this crash, some may feel there's little else to say. If something on the highway punched through the big rig's tire, most would call that a shame but one with no one specific to blame...right?
Not exactly. Debris on the road is a common cause of blowouts and subsequent crashes, but it's not the only one. A full investigation should also account for whether the tire was already in bad shape due to neglected maintenance, or even if it gave way because of a manufacturing defect. If someone along the line should have done something differently to keep the truck rolling safely, that party should be held accountable for failing to fulfill their duty.
So how do we determine whether one of those--or something else entirely--was really to blame? Well, that often requires attention from experts with the particular tools and training to look at all the possibilities. Differentiating between poor maintenance, unavoidable debris, defects, and other possible causes requires a lot more effort than just a glance from police. Hopefully steps are taken to make sure those affected by this crash know all the facts. They deserve no less.
ORIGINAL: I hope investigators will take the time and care needed to figure out exactly what happened here and whether it could have been avoided, but before more facts are available it's probably best not speculate about either. However, there's another big detail about this incident that may not get the consideration it deserves: The rollover.
For several years now, technology has existed to help trucks better withstand a rollover. Even the most up-to-date protections aren't magic and can't stop every rollover from having serious results, but in many cases one that a truck driver should have walked away from becomes a race against time to treat them for critical injuries--ones that all too often prove fatal.
In those cases where a trucking company just refused to update its designs or improve its manufacturing process, is it really fair for the driver to pay the price? I certainly don't think so, which is why I blog about these accidents and try to shed some insight on a lesser-known problem with the transportation industry. Only time and careful investigation could say whether it played any part in La Salle County.