Edward “Eddie” Hykel Killed in Semi-Truck Accident in West, TX
West, TX — March 28, 2023, Eddie Hykel was killed as the result of a commercial truck accident which occurred at 1:00 p.m. on I-35.
Investigators said that the incident happened near exit 354 for Marable Street. It appears that Eddie Hykel of the West Fire Department was on the scene helping to control traffic with DPS due to a vehicle fire along I-35. While there, current reports say that a semi-truck tractor-trailer somehow failed to avoid the emergency vehicles and crashed into them.
Hykel sustained fatal injuries due to the collision. At least two officers on the scene were also hurt. No other injuries were reported. Currently, additional details about the accident are unavailable. It's unclear if charges are being considered.
A quote I saw in the news attributed to Mayor Tommy Muska I think sums a lot of this up. The quote said, "You’d think going into a burning building is dangerous. Working I-35 is a whole lot more dangerous." With all the stories I read about crashes similar to this one, I don't doubt it for a second. Emergency services put their lives on the line simply trying to keep people safe on our roads. The least anyone could do for them is simply be attentive and give them plenty of room as they work to clear the road.
One would expect a professional driver, supposedly with more training and experience in these kinds of environments, to be the one to avoid wreaking such havoc. It makes me wonder how exactly the truck driver failed to avoid a big red firetruck with flashing lights, especially when there were likely multiple other vehicles nearby that had no issue going around the scene without incident.
Could it be as simple as the driver being on their phone? Were they speeding and swerved to avoid hitting traffic? Could this be some highly unusual situation relating to a mechanical issue the truck driver had no control over? Does this truck driver have proper training? Have they been involved in accidents before? Did something about the way their employer operates contribute to this terrible event (e.g., long hours, poor maintenance, unreasonable deadlines, overloading cargo, etc.)?
These are just some of the questions I have off the top of my head, and there will no doubt be even more worth clearing up if this man's family is going to get the answers they deserve. Put simply, our heroes in emergency response shouldn't have to put their lives on the line like this, but they do it anyway. The least the rest of us can do is make sure there are clear answers about what went wrong and that there will be harsh but appropriate repercussions for those whose actions (or lack thereof) led to such an awful tragedy.