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“I have been prosecuting serious injury and wrongful death cases against trucking companies, auto makers and tire manufacturers for more than 30 years. Our firm maintains this blog to share information and insight on transportation safety issues that continue to arise on our nation’s highways and roads.”

Kathrine Dickens was killed in an accident with an 18-wheeler near Loop 485

GLADEWATER, Texas- An early morning collision between a Kia Soul and a tractor-trailer has resulted in the death of 68-year-old Kathrine Gipson Dickens.

According to reports, the accident occurred around 7:21 a.m. along Loop 485 at Broadway Avenue/US 80. Ms. Dickens was traveling through Brookshire’s parking lot and was struck by the tractor-trailer as she entered Loop 485.

Authorities reported that Ms. Dickens sustained fatal injuries in the crash. However, the cause of the crash was not immediately apparent.

No further information was immediately available.

Further information will be needed before forming a proper legal strategy, but all causes must be considered

All vehicle accidents are inherently dangerous, but unfortunately, there is a heightened risk of fatalities when a tractor-trailer is involved. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of Ms. Dickens during this difficult time. No family should have to navigate such loss alone, and we hope that an independent legal investigation is conducted to provide the Dickens family with the answers and relief they need.

One thing that stands out from the news report is the time of the accident. This crash occurred in the early hours of the morning, and it is possible that the driver was at the end of a night shift and was fatigued beyond the point where it was safe for them to be driving. Our investigations into crashes show that truck driver employers routinely pressure drivers into extending their shifts and operating far longer than what is considered safe. There are strict rules governing how long a commercial trucker can operate an 18-wheeler; failure to adhere to these rules is negligence. Any evidence that the employer instructed or pressured the driver to ignore those rules may allow Ms. Dickens’ family to bring a claim against the employer for contributing to the death of their loved one. This may be true even if an official investigation finds Ms. Dickens was at fault.

We would also want to investigate the crashworthiness of Ms. Dickens’ vehicle. Car manufacturers must adhere to strict safety regulations to ensure that vehicles can protect their inhabitants in the event of a crash. Safety belts, airbags, roof strength requirements, and other features must provide ample protection in an accident. However, the Kia Soul has a small, compact body style, and we sometimes find these vehicles do not meet crashworthiness standards. If an analysis of Ms. Dickens’ car concludes it did not meet crashworthiness standards, her loved ones may be able to recover against the car manufacturer.

It is too early to determine the cause of the accident or the responsible party. However, when faced with a fatal accident, it is important to investigate all potential causes to determine if anything outside the ordinary contributed to the ultimate outcome. A woman lost her life, and the family deserves answers.

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