• January 19, 2023

Tesla Crashes with 18-Wheeler on Airport Freeway, Two Injured in Irving, TX

Irving, TX — October 7, 2022, two people in a Tesla were seriously injured in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Airport Freeway in Irving.

Authorities say the incident happened around 12:15 a.m. on Airport Freeway at County Line Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a Tesla Model 3 was traveling east on the highway service road, allegedly speeding, when it approached the County Line intersection. An International semi-truck with a trailer was turning right from the County Line stop sign onto the service road when the Tesla passed through and crashed into the truck's trailer, then the rear axle of the semi-tractor.

Both the Tesla's occupants were seriously injured in the collision. The truck driver was unhurt.

Investigators alleged the Tesla driver was under the influence of alcohol and collected blood samples for testing.

No further information is currently available.

I don't know any more than preliminary reports say about what happened here, but I see a couple of details that give me pause. Hope more thorough investigations will be conducted to cast a clearer light on exactly what happened on Airport Freeway.

The first thing that troubles me is the truck driver's assertion that he "cleared the intersection" before turning. I don't mean to suggest he didn't, but I can't help but wonder why that effort didn't show him the rapidly-approaching car. Were his sightlines blocked by the nearby overpass? Was it too dark? Did the driver somehow miss the light cast by the car's approaching headlights?

I'm not accusing the trucker of wrongdoing; quite the opposite, actually. Between specialized training and many of them having plenty of experience on the road, the idea that one would make the rookie mistake of an unsafe turn seems unlikely. So what exactly happened?

Tesla Crashes with 18-Wheeler on Airport Freeway, 2 Injured in Irving, TX

Beyond that, there's also the matter of the other driver's alleged impairment. Again, I don't doubt officers' word, but even if they're right that would only be part of the story. It'd be important to look at the circumstances leading up to the crash, including where the alcohol came from. In many cases DWI drivers are illegally over-served by bars or other alcohol vendors, which might meant a local business is partly responsible for the injuries caused in the Irving accident.

The takeaway here should really be that context matters. A few sentences from the press or police rarely contain the whole story, and making sure that's found for those who need and deserve it should always be a priority. I hope the same questions I had occurred to authorities and they took the time and care to answer them properly.

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