• May 23, 2017

One Killed in Midland, TX, Telephone Pole Truck Accident on Garden City

Midland, TX -- May 22, 2017, a man was killed following an accident in which a pickup collided into telephone poles on the back of a truck.

Authorities from the Midland Police Department were called out to the scene of the accident at around 9:30 a.m. The incident took place outside of a facility located at 1909 East Garden City Highway.

Preliminary reports indicate that a flatbed tractor-trailer was hauling telephone poles along westbound lanes of the highway. The truck reportedly entered the outside lane and slowed to make a right turn. As it turned, a pickup collided with two poles hanging off the back of the trailer.

The poles penetrated through the cab of the vehicle, hitting the driver and killing him at the scene. It would appear no other injuries occurred.

At this time, police continue to investigate the factors surrounding the accident. No further information is currently available.

Map of the Area

Commentary

There are several details surrounding this accident which absolutely must be investigated more closely. The news gave a pretty basic fact pattern of where the vehicles were at the time of the collision, but specifics that are crucial to how this incident could have been avoided are lacking. Those details could mean the difference between a sudden freak accident and one that was caused by a breakdown in safety procedures and due diligence.

Considering the pickup was reportedly in the inside traffic lane while the truck was in the outside lane, this means the telephone poles were long enough that they extended from the trailer into moving traffic. If this is the case, Texas law has special regulations concerning proper procedure for over-hanging cargo. Specifically, drivers must have a special permit to move the cargo and the cargo must be clearly marked with red warning flags. First and foremost, it needs to be determined whether or not this truck was following proper safety guidelines.

Not only that, but trucks often take right turns by partially blocking the lane beside them. Considering trucks are difficult to navigate, they need the extra room to make the turn. That being said, maybe if a truck is carrying a load so large it swings out into traffic, there should be a better procedure for making the turn, such as having a flagger stop traffic while the truck makes the dangerous maneuver. Giving the truck enough room and warning drivers might take more time than making the turn, but saving time simply isn't worth the toll that this tragedy proves it can take.

These and other factors are absolutely crucial to determining how and why this accident happened, but uncovering those factors requires the experienced eye of an industry professional independent of the police. Frankly, a police report probably isn't going to cover such details as in-depth as is warranted by a tragedy like this. Officers may offer a basic fact pattern which covers the whats and wheres but fails to deliver the whys and hows--the most important parts of any accident investigation. There needs to be a closer examination of the evidence by an independent professional who knows trucking company regulations and the particular factors that can cause an accident like this. It's not enough to say this was a sudden tragic accident. With so many possible factors involved, no amount of effort can be spared in trying to determine exactly how this accident could have been avoided and exactly why it wasn't. With such a tragic outcome, those affected deserve nothing less than the full truth of what occurred.

--Grossman Law Offices

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