COLORADO CITY, Texas—Kenith Herndon, 53, died on the morning of September 20, 2022, after his semi-truck crashed and caught fire beneath an overpass on I-20 in Colorado City, Texas.
Initial reports reveal that Herndon was driving a 2001 Mack truck and towing a 2011 Wilco cargo tank trailer filled with hydrochloric acid while traveling westbound on the interstate. Reportedly, Herndon drove into the inside lane of the interstate, then into the center median, and eventually struck the westbound guardrail. Then, Herndon’s truck continued off the overpass and hit a column during its fall, coming to rest beneath the overpass structure. The semi-truck immediately caught fire and was consumed in flames as acid leaked from the cargo tank.
Herndon was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The crash required specialized clean-up crews to handle the hydrochloric acid spill and caused significant damage to the overpass.
Further investigation into the cause of the accident is needed to determine fault
While some might automatically assume the driver of the Mack truck was negligent in running his vehicle off the road, that might not be the case. An independent investigation may better determine the actual cause of this horrific accident. However, analysis of the accident may be complicated because the truck was engulfed in flames for a long time.
Personal injury lawyers may be able to assist the family of Herndon in determining the cause of the crash. Personal injury lawyers aim to provide the family of car crash victims with answers about their loved one’s accident and secure compensation for the family’s incredible loss. Even though Herndon was involved in a single-vehicle accident, that does not automatically indicate that Herndon was operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner. In fact, at The Ammons Law Firm, we have dealt with numerous single-vehicle semi-truck accidents where a mechanical failure or manufacturing defect caused the crash.
This crash may result from a mechanical defect in the semi-truck, such as a steering column failure. Steering column failures are relatively common in older trucks and can lead to sudden lane departures and rollovers. Suppose further investigation reveals a mechanical defect in the semi-truck as the cause of the crash. In that case, Herndon’s family could bring a direct claim against the truck manufacturer for a defective product.
Additionally, suppose a commercial trucking company owned the semi-truck. In that case, Herndon’s family, after consulting with an attorney, could request the trucking company turn over the maintenance records for the semi-truck in question. Receiving company records could help the family determine which repair shop serviced the truck and whether a repair shop could be at fault for negligently maintaining the semi-truck.
Alternatively, the severity of the crash may have been lessened with the utilization of more safety features. An independent investigation may help Herndon’s family understand why the truck burst into flames so quickly and why the truck’s trailer leaked flammable acid onto the roadway. Indeed, safer equipment may have easily reduced the likelihood of such a spill.
Although there are many potential causes of this crash, Herndon’s family deserves to know what happened in the moments leading up to their loved one’s death. An independent investigation will likely resolve many unanswered questions the victim’s family has and help the family decide which legal remedies to pursue.
Disclaimer: This post is not legal advice. Information contained in this blog was compiled from third-party sources or is the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if false or misleading information is contained in this post.