• January 19, 2017

Josh Harbuck Dies in Erath County, TX, Single-Vehicle Accident

Erath County, TX -- January 17, 2017. Josh Harbuck was killed following an accident where his vehicle lost control and crashed off the highway.

The Texas Department of Public Safety responded to the accident scene Tuesday afternoon. Reports say the crash happened along Texas State Highway 220 near Hico.

According to preliminary investigations, 36-year-old Harbuck was driving a Ford F-250 pickup northbound on the highway. As he did so, the vehicle somehow lost control, swerving off the side of the highway. In the roadside area, the vehicle went into a skid and eventually flipped over. The pickup eventually landed on its roof and came to a stop.

Emergency services arrived on the scene some time later. They say that Harbuck died at the scene. A passenger in his vehicle was not injured.

Authorities confirmed that both occupants were wearing seatbelts at the time. They mentioned that roads were wet, but they have not indicated any factors contributing to the accident.

No further information is currently available.

Map of the Area


Single-vehicle accidents are always tough for those affected, especially when someone is hurt or killed. One of the reasons things can be so difficult is because there tends to be a lot of missing information in early stages of the investigation. While police continue to look over evidence, people are already forming their own ideas about what happened. More often than not, they tend to blame the driver. This isn't entirely unreasonable, since most single-vehicle accidents are indeed caused by driver error--texting, speeding, falling asleep at the wheel, etc. However, to apply a blanket generalization to all accidents is wholly unfair and only serves to make things more difficult for victims and their families.

Let's look at an example. Only a few years ago, GM came under controversy when particular models of their vehicle had a severe mechanical defect. These cars had faulty ignition switches that would sometimes switch the vehicle's power off while the vehicle was in motion. This was disastrous for some who found themselves with no power steering, no braking systems, and no airbags traveling at highway speeds. Investigations linked roughly 100 deaths to this defect.

The issue here is that this problem was not discovered for many years. In the meantime, there were a bunch of accidents that basically looked like a driver ran off the road for some unknown reason. With each of those accidents, there were probably people automatically assuming the driver screwed up somehow despite not knowing the full story.

The point I'm trying to make here is not that drivers are never at fault for an accident--like I said, they very commonly are. What I'm emphasizing is that the worst thing anyone can do following an accident is fill in the blanks with baseless assumptions. Those affected by the accident are already going through hardships, and people jumping to conclusions about the crash only serve to harm them further. Whatever the accident, the best thing to do is ensure that the incident is thoroughly investigated and that all of the facts are uncovered. Once the full story comes to light, victims and their families have the opportunity to determine the next best steps forward.

--Grossman Law Offices


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