Brynleigh Higginbotham Killed, Daniel, Cassandra, & Kasen Higginbotham Hurt in Elm Mott, TX, Accident
Elm Mott, TX -- March 11, 2017, Brynleigh Higginbotham was killed, Daniel, Cassandra, and Kasen Higginbotham were hurt, in an accident involving an RV.
Authorities from Texas DPS and several other emergency services were called to the accident scene around 4:00 p.m. near the intersection of I-35 and Leroy Parkway, about 10 miles north of Waco.
Preliminary accident reports indicate that Brynleigh, 4, was riding in a Kia SUV on southbound I-35. Her family members, 31-year-old Daniel Higginbotham, 30-year-old Cassandra Higginbotham, and 9-year-old Kasen Higginbothom, were also in the vehicle.
Traffic on I-35 was backed up due to an earlier accident. As the Higginbothams and other vehicles sat in traffic, they were struck from behind by an RV that was towing another vehicle.
As a result of the collision, Brynleigh succumbed to her injuries at the scene. The other three passengers were taken to Baylor Scott & White for treatment. Daniel and Cassandra were said to have serious injuries while Kasen's condition was stable. At least 10 other people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Authorities did not mention any charges or citations resulting from the accident. They say wet roads may have been contributing factor.
The crash remains under investigation at this time.
Map of the Area
This is just a terrible accident to read about, and many of the details suggest to me that the RV driver likely was responsible for all this mayhem. Some people might think RVs are just big cars and that accidents involving them work the same as any other typical crash. The truth is that there are extenuating circumstances unique to RVs which need to be taken into account here.
Not everyone knows this, but many RVs are heavy enough that they require a Class A or a Class B license (as opposed to a standard Class C) to operate. These vehicles can weigh about as much as many commercial vehicles--upwards of 26,000 pounds--so our laws hold drivers of RVs to a higher standard for the safety of the general public.
Some owners of RVs might just think that they can go out and buy an RV, pack up some stuff and hit the road. What they aren't taking into account is that the increased weight and size of an RV drastically increases the skill needed to operate it safely. Simply put, some people driving RVs just don't know how to drive them properly. You wouldn't expect the driver of a dump truck to not have special training or a specific license to drive it. That would be incredibly dangerous not only for the driver but for everyone else on the road. It stands to reason that we hold drivers of RVs equally accountable. Anyone driving a vehicle the size of an RV--especially hauling a second vehicle--needs to have the experience and training necessary to handle such a vehicle.
That being said, whether or not this particular driver had the proper license, there is no excuse for this accident, wet roads or not. If the driver in this accident had proper training, then why didn't they slow down in time? Driving too quickly? Following too closely? Not paying attention? If that person was not trained properly, then why didn't they prepare themselves to drive such a dangerous vehicle? What made them think they could safely handle a vehicle weight over 12 tons?
Special vehicles require extensive training and miles of experience before they can safely be driven. When vehicles such as RVs are improperly handled, this is the kind of grim tragedy that can happen. It needs to be determined exactly why this was allowed to happen so that whoever was responsible can be held accountable.
--Grossman Law Offices