Michael Flora Driver Killed in Train Accident on US 59 in Splendora, TX
UPDATE (February 14, 2023): Reports have identified Michael Flora as the truck driver killed in the collision with the train. Details have yet to clarify what exactly led to the collision. Something that stands out is one source saying the collision occurred "seconds" after leaving the lot where he worked. Sources also show the particular crossing here has only a yield sign for control, and at least one person noted that Flora should have had a clear line of sight at the time of the crash.
To be frank, that only makes me more skeptical that this was some simple case of inattentive driving. That's possible, of course, but this was supposedly an open crossing right outside where the victim worked day in and day out. He must have crossed this railroad hundreds of times. So why was this time different? What changed? What led to a crash here that never did before? What steps are authorities taking to answer these questions?
Splendora, TX -- February 13, 2023, a truck driver was fatally injured due to an accident where their vehicle hit a train off US 59.
Montgomery County officials said that the accident happened at around 7:30 a.m. outside of Cleveland near US 59 and Midline Road. It appears that a semi-truck somehow got onto a set of railroad tracks as a train passed, and the vehicles collided. This led to several cars derailing. Due to the crash, the truck driver sustained fatal injuries. It's unclear if anyone else was hurt.
Beyond this, there isn't much information available as authorities are still in the early stages of their investigations. Frankly, serious wrecks like this often end up relying on federal investigators from agencies like the NTSB to come in and sort through all the details. Some may be quick to assume that will also just lead to them concluding the truck driver screwed up, but on this blog I often talk about the importance of giving people the benefit of the doubt until all the facts are clear. I don't make exceptions for truck drivers, and I certainly don't see a reason why this crash would be an exception, either.
For all we know, this involved a mechanical failure, defective crossing signals, missing signage, a poorly planned route by the driver's dispatch, etc. Likely or not, there's a family out there that deserves answers. Letting the evidence speak for itself, then, is a lot better than just jumping to conclusions without having the facts.