Houston, TX — October 11, 2018, a man sustained serious injuries as the result of an accident where his vehicle crashed into the back of a stalled 18-wheeler along Katy Freeway.

According to information released by the Houston Police Department, the accident happened at around 12:30 a.m. off the intersection of Katy Freeway and Greenhouse Road.

Initial reports indicated that a man, currently unidentified, was traveling westbound along the Katy Freeway in a pickup. While doing so, his pickup somehow crashed into the back of a FedEx tractor-trailer which had broken down on the right shoulder. His pickup went partially beneath the trailer, sustaining serious damage.

Rescue teams extracted the pickup driver before transporting him to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. No one else was hurt.

At this time, police continue to investigate the factors leading up to the crash.

Map of the Area

Commentary

While there are many factors to consider here, the first one investigators will probably look into is whether or not the pickup driver was drunk. Quite frankly, Houston is just lousy with drunk drivers, and 12:30 a.m. is prime time for alcohol-related crashes. But I don’t bring this up as baseless speculation. I bring this up because there could be an accomplice to this crash who needs to face consequences: a bar.

One of the reasons so many drunk driving accidents happen at this time of night is because people go out drinking at bars and then try to drive home. The problem is many of these bars serve their customers without any consideration of just how drunk they are; the more they sell, the better. Well, according to Texas law, that’s illegal. Specifically, it is illegal to sell alcohol to someone who is obviously intoxicated. If a bar does so, and that person’s intoxication leads to an accident, then Dram Shop Law allows victims and families to sue that bar for their contributions to the crash.

That may sound odd, but it’s important that the law is nuanced enough to take everyone’s actions into account. To that end, a truly prudent investigator wouldn’t stop at alcohol. There are other factors which few people consider after an accident like this, and that’s how the truck driver’s actions may have contributed to the crash.

First of all, federal regulations require that 18-wheelers must place reflective devices behind their trailer at specific intervals if they have to stop on the highway. These devices are crucial for warning motorists of the obstruction–essentially a 40 ton boulder sitting on the side of the road. Especially at night, a trailer lacking these warnings creates an incredibly dangerous environment for drivers. It’s difficult to say for sure, but I don’t see any cones or flares in the crash scene photos. However what I do see brings up even more reason for concern.

The pictures show the pickup all but destroyed, mangled beneath the trailer. What really stands out though is the trailer’s under-ride bar which seems to have folded in the impact. These bars are a necessary piece of equipment that helps mitigate the severity of rear-end impacts. Trucking companies are required to have them and also to maintain them properly.

What may shock some people is that I’ve litigated cases where these bars were completely rusted through and essentially useless. The sad reality is many trucking companies take the gamble of saving money on maintenance and hoping their lack of maintenance doesn’t get someone hurt.

Now, even a properly maintained under-ride bar can only do so much. For one, they are only truly effective up to a certain speed, and they are primarily designed for flat, direct impacts, not vehicles that hit it at an angle. Still, the sheer damage resulting from this crash is cause enough to look into the part and make sure it functioned properly.

As you can see, what initially seemed like a regular old rear-end impact is actually incredibly complex. That’s something everyone needs to keep in mind following an accident like this. There are countless factors to consider, and very rarely is only one person to blame. Hopefully all of these factors are considered so those affected by this crash know that all the contributions to the wreck are addressed appropriately.

–Grossman Law Offices

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Recent Comments to the Blog

Jason is back to work and is now playing Sled Hockey and wheelchair rugby!! Jason is the strongest and most amazing man! He may nly have 1/2 a leg, but that is ALL he is lacking!! Thanks to prayer and GOD and awsome first responders and Baylor doctors. Jason's wife, Sheila
— Sheila
I'm a former employee. I had brought up this exact scenario and suggested a maintenance procedure that would eliminate the possibility of this type injury. Obviously my warning went unheeded.
— Tophat
I was actually a couple cars back from this wreck, one of the first on the scene, and helped administer CPR on the victims. The truck driver was going way too fast, but it was actually his trailer that swung around and hit the suv, the semi-truck ended in the median.
— Leif Burton
I appreciate how you've commentated on this tragedy--informative, with questions, but not hurtful. I live within 30 mins of this crash site, and I am appalled at the entire situation :(. I can't even begin to understand what could have happened to make this come to fruition, but I will be keeping up with it so I can learn what investigations bring to light about how something awful like this could happen. Rest in peace, Thomas, Carolyn and Carolyn...
— Summer
I am Anthony Siffords daughter. im 13 and i miss my dad i just wanted everyone to know that he is in a better place now and i would to thank everyone for the support. i miss my dad but it was amazing to see how many people had been toughed by my dad god bless thanks for everything...
— Hannah Sifford
I am Rodney Palmer's sister-inlaw. I am amazed and grateful for all the heartfelt wishes and support for our family... It is difficult indeed to put our thoughts into words, but we very much appreciate your kind and helpful words at a time when these things mean so much. Losing someone as special as Rodney has been tough, but knowing the he has touched so many people's lives keeps my sister's strengthens our family.
— Maureen
A lot of people say smack about lawyers, but I want to say that I'm glad there is a way that people who are wronged by corporate neglect can get justice and force change. We are living in a world where corporations and govt care less than ever about common people, and I support your work. I hope I will never need your services.
— Martin Onasis
My friend Michael was the one who got hit by this train. This is the ONLY article I can find on it!! How is that possible? It happened almost 5 days ago! Thank you for actually caring about us "no name" people. I hope when more information comes in you will post it as soon as you can. Thank you again!! God bless you
— Leslie
Tony was the step Grant father and it's been hard for the whole family but we know he is in a better place now. It's nice to know that people are rasing awareness with my grandfathers story. Thanks, family and friends of Tony Wray.
— Mercedes Stanley
Thank you for posting these accident articles on your site. At the company that I work for, e deal with monitoring construction activity and work around trenches and all sorts of construction equipment/vehicles. I sometimes wonder if construction companies have enough safety training to inform employees of how to protect themselves while on the job.
— Erik Hofmann
I'd like to thank you for giving my cousin's death some type of recognition and letting our family know he is not a lost cause. Thank you <3
— Victoria

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