• February 03, 2023

Maria Ortiz Gonzalez Killed, 1 Injured in 18-wheeler Accident on LBJ Freeway in Garland, TX

UPDATE (February 6, 2023): Officials released the name of the Good Samaritan killed in the crash. Authorities say that 35-year-old Maria Trinidad Ortiz Gonzalez sustained fatal injuries in the collision. The man critically injured in the collision remains unidentified at this time. Details about the collision are still under investigation.

Garland, TX -- February 3, 2023, a Good Samaritan was killed and one was injured following an accident where an 18-wheeler hit them on I-635.

Only preliminary information is available about the crash at this time. It apparently occurred at around 1:30 a.m. in the area of LBJ Freeway and Jupiter Road.

Investigations say there was an initial crash along westbound lanes of the freeway. It appears some people stopped to help out at the scene. While they were attempting to divert traffic around the crash site, an 18-wheeler reportedly lost control while braking, causing it to jackknife and hit two people.

Maria Ortiz Gonzalez Killed, 1 Injured in 18-wheeler Accident in Garland, TX

One of the Good Samaritans died as a result of the collision. Another was said to be in critical condition. Others were apparently treated and released.

While roads have been clearing up since the most recent winter weather event, there were still some hazardous spots on the roads this morning. That would no doubt have been true considering how early this crash happened. But that's something drivers would know well ahead of time—especially a professional driver. So why is it that two people trying to do the right thing suffered for their good deeds?

Was the truck driver paying attention to the road and traveling at appropriate speeds? Were their tires and brakes in good condition? How were the victims diverting traffic? Were they clearly lit? Did other drivers have no issues seeing them and going around the crash site? Was the crash avoidable, but the truck driver simply overreacted and lost control? Was this some tragic, unavoidable situation that neither the truck driver nor the victims could predict?

These are just a few questions that come up after deadly wrecks like this, and my concern is that in all the chaos, something important may slip through the cracks if the incident doesn't get enough attention from accident reconstructionists. My hope is that the right people are asking the right questions here so that the families involved know they're getting the answers they deserve. That's just one step toward closure, but it's possibly the most important one.


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