• January 06, 2023

Tabinah Sheikh Injured in Semi-Truck Accident on FM 1314 in Montgomery County, TX

UPDATE (January 20, 2023): Details given by authorities identified the woman in the southbound vehicle as 28-year-old Tabinah Sheikh. Sheikh's current condition is unclear, and police did not give additional details about the crash.

Montgomery County, TX -- January 5, 2023, two people were injured due to an accident where a semi-truck allegedly ran a stop sign on FM 1314.

According to preliminary details given via Montgomery County Police Reporter, the crash happened at FM 1314 and Village Way at around 7:40 p.m. A sand truck may have disregarded a stop sign and pulled onto southbound lanes of FM 1314. Doing so, a southbound vehicle crashed into the truck. Following this, the truck apparently pulled over with a portion of the vehicle in northbound lanes. There, a Toyota then crashed into the tractor-trailer.

Emergency responders from Caney Creek and Porter were called to the area, and one woman from the first passenger vehicle was taken to a hospital with injuries said to be serious. The driver of the Toyota was taken to a hospital with unspecified injuries. Right now, additional details surrounding the crash are unavailable.

Looking at these preliminary details--if they're indeed accurate--the information is more than concerning. The claims of a truck driver disregarding a stop sign are bad enough. The fact there was a secondary collision is only more troubling. Some of the photos provided by MCPR show the truck pulled onto the shoulder, presumably along northbound lanes as the reports described. If that's where the truck stopped after the initial collision, what in the world was this trucker doing? Did they really run a stop sign, cause a serious crash, then pull onto the shoulder with its back end sticking out into the lane of travel?

Tabinah Sheikh Injured in Semi-Truck Accident in Montgomery County, TX

It leaves a crucial question: What kind of reasonably prudent professional driver would do this? Of all the responsible truckers I've had the pleasure of working with over the years, not a single one would be reckless enough to make one of these mistakes, let alone both. So what was different here? Is there a lack of proper training? Does this driver have a history of reckless driving? Were they in a rush?

Where Does the Blame Lie?

Answering these questions can be crucial for a few reasons. Obviously, there's simply the matter of finding out what went wrong. Jumping to conclusions isn't going to do any good, especially if it turns out there is a series of complex issues leading to the crash that implicate more wrongdoing than just one driver's negligence. Beyond that, though, there's the matter of anticipating how the blame can be shifted around here.

Something in the reports I read stood out to me, and I want to offer some good-faith caution to those who may share similar views. The writer of the MCPR article offered some important local opinion on this crash, saying, "The intersection where the private road comes out is poorly lit," and that "the trucks pulling out have limited sight distance." I have no reason to doubt these opinions, and if that information is true, perhaps there are safety concerns the local authorities need to address on behalf of the community. But these kinds of details can muddy the waters, and valid or not, statements like that can have negative implications for the victims and families involved in a serious truck wreck.

When a trucking company is looking to avoid responsibility for a serious crash, they look for anything and everything to shift blame onto. That could be other drivers, the victims themselves, mysterious and sudden mechanical issues, and the area in which the crash happened.

To be clear, I'm not saying folks should just keep their thoughts to themselves. On the contrary, they just need to consider how those concerns fit into the larger picture. Let's say, for example, that evidence shows all the claims of this truck's behavior are true. Let's also say the local concerns of an intersection that is dark and has poor visibility are also accurate. The next step is to ask yourself, what is more serious? A dark intersection that may need a few more lights or signs? Or, a truck driver allegedly running a stop sign, then blocking a lane of travel immediately afterward in that dark area? I'd be curious to know what members of the community think.

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