Linda Ann Spiess Injured in Truck Accident in Austin, TX
Austin, TX — October 12, 2023, Linda Ann Spiess was injured following a truck accident at around 7:19 a.m. along Manor Road.
Authorities said in preliminary statements that the collision occurred at the intersection of Manor Road and 51st Street.
According to officials, 67-year-old Linda Ann Spiess was on a bicycle on the southwest corner of the intersection. There is a marked crosswalk as well as a dedicated bike lane, and authorities say that Spiess was waiting for the west-to-east pedestrian light to change, however they also have been unable to clarify where exactly Spiess was and which direction she had been traveling prior to the collision. While there, however, authorities say a Mack truck made a right turn across the crosswalk, somehow running over Spiess in the process.
Spiess had incapacitating injuries due to the collision, authorities said. While authorities have suggested the possibility of the truck failing to yield while making a right turn on red, they have indicated the truck may be equipped with video cameras that might show what happened. My question, then, is why they have yet to clarify any of these details. Could it be they're not having an easy time getting the video from the owner of the truck?
Despite what many might think, companies aren't usually obligated to hand over all of the evidence they have concerning a crash one of their drivers was involved in. If they're issued a warrant or some other order through the courts, they'd obviously be violating the law if they didn't comply. But if investigators are just asking them to voluntarily provide evidence about the crash, they can simply avoid doing so for as long as they can. If a police department, then, isn't willing to dedicate the time and resources necessary to press the issue, it could mean important details slip through the cracks unless someone is there to catch them.
For example, I handled a truck wreck case a while back where authorities suspected a truck driver was using his phone leading up to a collision. The driver's employer, however, refused to even acknowledge that their driver had a phone at all. Whether or not they believed that spurious claim, authorities did little to press the issue. But my team and I weren't satisfied, so we put the driver through a lengthy deposition until he had no choice but to admit he had his phone at the time of the accident. Thanks to that, we got a judge to order the release of the phone records, and that's how we found out that the driver had been watching adult videos at the time of the accident (yes, seriously).
I'm not at all saying anything like that happened here, of course. I'm also not suggesting any kind of intentional interference with the investigations into this crash. As to this supposed video evidence, it's possible the cameras weren't able to catch the collision, or perhaps authorities examined the footage and simply have yet to update their public statements. But if I were hurt in a truck accident like this, and I found out there was video footage out there to help tell my side of the story, I'd want to know authorities were doing everything possible to get that video as soon as possible.