HARRIS COUNTY, Texas—The driver of an 18-wheeler suffered serious injuries April 20 when the vehicle he was driving was hit by a train at the intersection of Katy Hockley and the US-290 feeder road.
Local authorities said the 18-wheeler was on the train tracks when the railroad crossing arms came down. The train hit the semi, and reportedly tore the truck from the load of gravel it was towing before pushing it a quarter mile down the railroad tracks.
The truck driver, who authorities have yet to identify, was flown to an area hospital, where he is in stable but critical condition. Officials said the man is expected to survive the horrific collision.
An investigation into the crash is ongoing. No additional information was immediately available.
Thoughts on the train-semi crash in Harris County, Texas
Folks reading this article are surely confused and wondering why the semi-driver was on the tracks with a train approaching and why the driver remained in the vehicle despite the train closing in. It is evident from the details provided that these facts are still under investigation and will likely require input from the injured driver. However, we have to imagine further research will be needed to determine the exact cause of this tragic crash.
While I do not have any information outside the public reports, it is likely the truck was stalled on the tracks. Under this scenario, it would be essential to determine what caused the truck to stall and if the employer adequately maintained the truck before service. Failure to provide employees with adequate equipment to complete the job safely can lead to liability on the employer’s part.
Further, information on the conductor is also relevant. While the truck was clearly on the tracks, the conductor was still under an obligation to act as a reasonably prudent conductor would when approaching the stranded vehicle. Did this conductor begin the stopping process within a reasonable time to avoid the truck and the resulting collision? Alternatively, did the conductor provide proper warning of its approach?
We don’t currently have this information and will likely need to conduct a post-crash investigation to uncover these facts. However, the victim, and the victim’s family, are entitled to answers to ensure the injured victim is appropriately and completely compensated under the law.
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