Yamil Gonzalez Sarmiento Killed in Crash with 18-Wheeler on FM 359 in Fulshear, TX
UPDATE (February 17, 2023): Details from officials have identified the man killed in the crash as 53-year-old Yamil Gonzalez Sarmiento. Additional information remains unclear.
Fulshear, TX — February 7, 2023, one person died when an 18-wheeler struck their truck at an intersection in Fort Bend County.
According to authorities the incident happened around 5:20 a.m. at the crossing of Farm to Market roads 1093 and 359 in the Fulshear area. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was northbound on FM 359 as a semi-truck was traveling east on FM 1093. A witness reportedly told investigators the semi driver ran a red light at the intersection and crashed into the victim, who had the right-of-way.
The pickup driver died in the crash. The commercial driver reportedly sustained minor injuries.
The investigation continues but officials say charges are expected for the semi-truck driver.
No further information is currently available.
If investigators got their facts straight and this crash boils down to a professional truck driver ignoring a red light, clearly that's a disturbing turn of events. Even the greenest novice driver of any sort knows red means stop, so it's fair to expect a specially-trained commercial operator to obey that simple rule. Why did that apparently not happen in Fulshear?
Answering that may be a little more complicated than people initially think. Some may have jumped straight to blaming the truck driver for looking at a phone or being careless, but it's always important to look carefully and clearly establish the facts of the matter—on general principle, but also because that information can be crucial for holding the right parties accountable.
Let me give an example of why I say this. A while back, a family came to me after a truck driver caused a serious crash while texting and driving. Pretty straight-forward, right? The family thought so, which is why it surprised them when we launched a comprehensive investigation after they called us. The reason for our effort soon became clear, though.
We looked into the trucking company's records and were eventually able to determine the truck driver was texting his supervisor at the time. This supervisor was so controlling that they constantly called and texted drivers throughout the day. What's more, they expected immediate responses, and drivers who didn't pick up or text back immediately were harshly punished. It was inevitable that one of those drivers, doing what they felt they had to do to put food on their family's table, would get someone hurt or killed, and that's exactly what happened.
I'm not saying that's what happened in this crash in Fulshear, but it's always important to keep an open mind and conduct a careful investigation after such accidents. If the wreck is simply taken at face value as the trucker's fault, there may be consequences, certainly. But what if the buck shouldn't stop there? Of all the families I've helped over the years, they all wanted the same thing: accountability. That means ensuring all parties face the appropriate consequences, and that doesn't happen without thorough investigations into more than just what seems to be the most obvious explanations.