WHARTON COUNTY, Texas — A truck driver tragically died Feb. 17 after an 18-wheeler and tandem trailer truck collided on southbound U.S. 59 and fueled an explosion.
Local police said they arrived on the scene to find the vehicles fully engulfed in flames.
The driver of the tandem trailer was not hurt, but the 18-wheeler sadly died in the fire.
U.S. 59 South, from Farm-to-Market Road 102 and Farm-to-Market Road 961, was shut down while crews cleared the scene.
Authorities have not yet released the name of the two drivers involved, nor have they released any additional information about how the crash and explosion occurred.
An investigation into the fatal crash is ongoing.
Thoughts on the fatal semi-accident in Texas that ended in fire
A lot is going on in this accident, and many questions will need to be answered before making sense of this tragic accident. For one, what caused the initial accident? Was a driver distracted, fatigued, or impaired? If so, this raises serious questions about the driver’s culpability in the accident. On the other hand, I have worked on several semi-accidents similar to this caused by mechanical failure. Under this scenario, it is important to consider the employer’s acts in providing a truck ready for the job. Had these trucks been adequately repaired and maintained?
Once we have determined the cause(s) of the accident, we need to look at the post-collision fire that engulfed the two vehicles. The record does not state whether the man died because of the fire or the collision. However, I would assume the fire played an intricate role and must be investigated. Vehicles are not designed to explode, and when they do, there could be errors in the vehicle’s design.
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