The Texas Department of Public Safety is still investigating a fatality crash that occurred May 15th on FM 1669 just north of Huntington. Initial reports state that an 18 Wheeler carrying oil field equipment lost control of an unsecured load causing the heavy equipment to strike a pickup truck being driven by Jeremy Johnson, 38, of Mineral Wells. Tragically, Mr. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene by Angelina County Justice of the Peace Pct. 3 Pat Grimes Grubbs.
Sadly, this is another example of a preventable crash taking a life on Texas roadways. Contrary to what many may think, most professional trucking companies, and drivers, are true professionals who follow the rules, take their work seriously and put safety first. Unfortunately, when trucking companies don’t follow the rules, and don’t put safety first, the results can be catastrophic.
In trucking crash litigation, this is what attorneys refer to as a “systems failure crash” because the root cause of the crash occurred long before the actual crash. In this case for example, there are multiple trucking industry safety rules that must have been violated to allow this crash to occur. There are specific rules about how loads must be secured before being transported on the highway including the type and strength of straps and/or chains and the manner they are secured. The truck, trailer and load must be checked again before the truck gets on the highway, and then, depending on the type of load, the driver may be required to stop after the first 15 minutes of driving to check the load again.
Trucking companies are required to train their drivers on these safety rules and put procedures in place to make sure the drivers understand and follow all safety “rules of the road”. According to initial reports, the oilfield equipment being transported was “unsecured”. When trucking companies ignore established safety rules, training and procedures the results can be devastating and tragic.
Mike Love & Associates LLC
202 E. Lufkin Ave.
Lufkin Texas 75901
Mr. Love’s firm represents clients injured in 18 Wheeler crashes nationwide and has been a featured speaker for the Texas State Bar Seminar on Prosecuting Trucking and Auto Crash Cases since 2014. Mr. Love is a Board Member and Sustaining Member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. If you are a family member have been seriously injured in an 18 Wheeler crash, you can contact the firm at 936-632-2000.