Two Killed in 18-wheeler Accident on F.M. 359 in Waller County, TX
Waller County, TX — September 8, 2023, two people were killed as the result of an 18-wheeler accident at around 4:20 a.m. along F.M. 359.
Authorities said in their statements that the crash took place in the area of the Farm-to-Market 359 and Zadelsky Road intersection.
According to current public information, two men, ages 53 and 52, were in a Ford F-150 reportedly going southbound on F.M. 359. Up ahead, authorities say that an 18-wheeler had been going northbound when it stopped and began to back without safety onto Zadelsky Road. The trailer appeared to be across the southbound lane with the truck still in the northbound lane facing oncoming traffic when the pickup crashed into the side of the 18-wheeler.
As a result of the collision, both men in the Ford succumbed to their injuries. There were no other reported injuries. Most recent statements show recommendations for a charge for backing without safety, and I must say that's rather surprising. Two men are dead here, and authorities say it was the result of an 18-wheeler blocking a dark highway, and that results in a relatively minor citation? Maybe there's going to be more information coming forth about additional charges or to explain the seemingly light consequences. But my concern is sometimes this is a sign authorities are taking the easy way out and going for the lowest hanging fruit.
For example, I handled a wrongful death case out of West Texas a while back involving an 18-wheeler who turned across a highway, stopped at a crossover, and left its trailer hanging out in the lanes of travel. A driver couldn't slow down in time and crashed into that trailer as a result. My team and I were shocked when we saw that the only citation for a truck driver causing catastrophic injuries was a ticket for failure to yield. That was far from the only mistake that truck driver made that warranted consequences.
As our team was investigating the evidence surrounding the crash, for instance, one thing immediately stood out to me. The reflective tape along the side of the trailer was absolutely caked in dirt. It was all but invisible, meaning it would have been useless at the time the driver hit the trailer. Our client had no time to react at all. That was something that could easily subject a trucking company to fines from the Department of Transportation, but authorities just didn't bother doing anything about that serious, nearly deadly mistake among a half dozen other offenses that warranted citations.
If a truck driver does something careless, and it results in people being hurt or killed, I have absolutely no problem with authorities nitpicking every single possible infraction and violation they find evidence for, if it means ensuring the person responsible faces the full consequences of their actions. Maybe there's going to be more that comes out about this specific accident in terms of more serious charges, but I'm not holding my breath.