Dolores Garces, Child Injured in Crash with Fallen Utility Pole in Forest Hill, TX
Forest Hill, TX — April 14, 2022, 73-year-old Dolores Garces and a 4-year-old boy were injured in a crash with a wooden utility pole on Bisbee Street in Tarrant County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 10:05 a.m. on Bisbee near Crawford Lane. Preliminary investigation suggests Garces was driving a GMC Terrain SUV east on the roadway when a nearby AT&T Communications pole split for unknown reasons and fell into her path. Garces was unable to avoid the wooden pole and crashed into it.
A juvenile passenger in the GMC suffered serious injuries in the crash. Garces reportedly received minor injuries.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Dolores Garces Accident in Forest Hill
Reading the preliminary reports it really doesn't sound like the driver had time or room to stop or steer clear of the pole landing in her path. Freak occurrence though this seems to be, if the pole was AT&T property as reports suggest then folks may assume the company would be on the hook for the damage it caused to the victims' vehicle and themselves. Unfortunately, things aren't always so simple.
Usually I talk about the troubles with corporate liability in relation to trucking accidents, but those firms are far from the only ones to bitterly argue against liability when their employees or property cause harm. Just about every company with assets on the line will do everything it can to protect them, including doing whatever it takes to escape responsibility for harm that most would say it caused.
If the utility pole in Forest Hill was improperly maintained or should have been replaced, for instance, folks might believe the company should be held accountable for neglecting it. However, the company would likely argue the pole was fine until something else--another driver hitting it, a major storm partially uprooting it, or other factors out of their control--damaged it and set it up to fall. If it can convince the right people that what happened wasn't due to company negligence, it may walk away with little to no obligation to help the people hurt by its property.
Whether their arguments hold water or not, it's up to the victims to prove what version of the story is the true one. Doing that can be a tall order while they're still reeling from the accident itself, which is why I often recommend getting helpful allies to do the heavy lifting of careful investigation and gathering evidence. The first step is always learning (and proving) the truth; what happens next depends on what that truth is.