Steve Muguerza Injured in Truck Accident on US-87 in Dewitt County, TX
Dewitt County, TX — January 17, 2023, 52-year-old Steve Muguerza was seriously injured in a crash with a tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 87 in Dewitt County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 7:45 a.m. on US-87 at Boldt Circle. Preliminary investigation suggests a Mack semi-truck was towing a trailer west on Boldt Circle when the driver turned left toward southbound US-87. Investigators allege the truck driver failed to yield when turning and entered the path of Muguerza's northbound GMC R1500 pickup, which struck the semi-trailer on its left side.
Muguerza suffered serious injuries in the collision. The truck driver was unhurt.
No further information is currently available.
It stands out here that conditions were supposedly so foggy the truck driver believed he wouldn't see approaching traffic. Police still said he failed to yield and even noted a charge to that effect, but knowing that inclement weather may have been a factor could throw a wrench in holding the driver (and by extension his employer) accountable for what happened.
For one thing, even with a "failed to yield" charge on preliminary reports there's no guarantee that a prosecutor would run with it. Juries are generally reluctant to convict someone unless it's truly proven "beyond a reasonable doubt" that their actions caused a wreck, and if they see the trucker was partially blinded by fog they may not feel he's to blame. Maybe a scrappy district attorney would give it a go anyway, but frankly I have my doubts.
Something along those lines could make civil action difficult as well. The insurance company behind that truck driver will protect him to the best of its ability, so the same fog that made prosecutors gunshy might be cited as "more likely than not" the reason for the driver's failure to yield. If a jury can be convinced that Mother Nature is the real culprit here, the trucker and his employer might be cleared of responsibility.
That may sound like a vote of no confidence in the justice system, but it's not. I just mean I understand how people who try to hold someone responsible for hurting them can sometimes end up frustrated. Realistically most of them want only two things: The whole story of their accidents, and some proper accountability if that story includes a responsible party. I think most would agree they deserve both.