Jessie Haley Killed in Crash with Parked 18-Wheeler on H K Dodgen Loop in Temple, TX
UPDATE (February 6, 2023): Authorities have identified the victim of this accident as 61-year-old Jessie Haley.
Temple, TX — February 3, 2023, one person died in a collision with a parked 18-wheeler on H K Dodgen Loop in Temple.
Authorities say the incident happened around 6:30 a.m. on the 11300 block of NW H K Dodgen near Pegasus Drive. Preliminary reports suggest a GMC Sonoma pickup was traveling west on the roadway when the driver allegedly lost control for unknown reasons. The pickup ran onto the right shoulder and crashed into the back of a parked Volvo tractor-trailer.
Officials confirmed the pickup driver died in the collision. The truck driver, reportedly asleep in the semi-truck's sleeper berth at the time, was unhurt.
No further information is currently available.
Over the years I've seen plenty of rear-end crashes, but what I've learned from investigating them is people tend to think the rear driver is automatically at fault. That's not necessarily true, as the law always considers the totality of a crash's circumstances. It's always important to investigate carefully and ensure all the details are known, which I'm sure is true after the Temple collision as well.
Among the details that need further attention is why the truck was there in the first place. Whether folks realize it or not, parked big rigs on a highway's shoulders or ramps often create a safety hazard. The law only allows truckers to stop there for emergencies, but unfortunately their reasons for doing so aren't always so urgent. If investigators are correct and the trucker used the Dodgen Loop shoulder to grab some shuteye, there may be some questions to address about the validity of that stop.
To be clear, I don't know more than public reports can say—which at this point isn't much. The truck driver may have had good reason to stop when he did, but a man lost his life in the collision that followed. That's more than enough reason to find out everything possible about what happened and whether it could or should have been prevented or avoided. The victim's loved ones deserve no less than the whole story, so I hope that's exactly what authorities find for them.