• November 11, 2022

William Roberson Hit by 2 Semi-Trucks, Killed on I-20 in Van Zandt County, TX

UPDATE (December 9, 2022): Sources have identified the victim of this accident as 53-year-old William Roberson.

Van Zandt County, TX — November 10, 2022, a pedestrian was struck by two semi-trucks and died on Interstate 20 in Van Zandt County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 6:10 a.m. along I-20 near mile marker 518 outside Canton. Preliminary investigation suggests an International semi-truck was towing a trailer west in the right lane of the highway; ahead, a Toyota Camry was disabled on the right improved shoulder. Investigators reported an electrical problem with the car prevented its lights or flashers from being activated.

According to reports the Toyota's driver was standing outside the car when the International big rig drove onto the shoulder for unknown reasons. The driver counter-steered to avoid a collision but the truck's passenger step hit the victim. The impact pushed the victim into his car, after which he bounced back into the International truck's trailer. He fell into the roadway, where moments later he was hit by a second International truck. Both truckers pulled onto the shoulder and returned to the impact site.

The pedestrian suffered fatal injuries in the accident. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on William Roberson Accident in Van Zandt County

I've heard it said that a commercial truck accident really involves three investigations: One by the police, one by the trucking company, and--ideally at least--one on the victim's behalf.

The police investigation, often relied on for answers by victims and their loved ones, is generally looking only for evidence of criminal activity. They are agents of the state, not victim advocates, and they don't necessarily prioritize helping the people and families hurt by accidents. That's not to say their findings aren't useful, but their reports are sometimes less helpful than one might hope for. Even here where they eventually decided on a potential charge of Criminally Negligent Homicide for the first truck driver, that charge will ultimately have little to do with getting help for the victim's loved ones or accountability from the driver's employer.

Pedestrian Hit by 2 Semi-Trucks, Killed on I-20 in Van Zandt County, TX

Likewise, trucking companies and their insurers may send out their own investigators if there's any chance they could be accused of liability. Once again, their goals don't typically align with victims' since they're mostly looking for ways to free their employee and themselves from blame. That means their investigators will search for scapegoats besides driver negligence (bad weather, sudden mechanical problems in the truck, unable to see the victim's car with no lights in the dark) to reduce or even eliminate the company's responsibility.

That's why another investigation by independent experts is often best if anyone feels the "official" story is wrong or incomplete. Having someone with necessary tools and training find clear facts that prove the victim's side of the story is invaluable for seeing justice done. Will those steps be taken to help the people affected by the crash in Van Zandt County?

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