LORENA, Texas—Nathan Caine Pipkin, 23, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on I-35 involving his pickup truck and two semi-trucks on August 22, 2022.
According to police reports, Pipkin’s pickup truck struck the rear of a semi-truck that was disabled in the main traffic lane. Pipkin was then hit from behind by another semi-truck before his pickup burst into flames. The condition of the semi-truck drivers and whether either sustained injury is currently unknown.
The crash remains under investigation. No further details were immediately available.
Thoughts on the fatal truck accident and potential relief available to surviving family
Even though the cause of this accident is still being investigated, there are apparent issues with the fact that one semi-truck was disabled in an active lane of traffic, and another failed to see an accident before it was too late. Pipkin’s family and friends deserve to know why this fatal accident occurred in the first place and why there seemed to be a complete lack of safety measures taken to prevent the death of an innocent motorist.
Semi-truck drivers must follow certain safety protocols when their trucks break down on the roadway. At best, a semi-truck driver should attempt to exit the Interstate before pulling over. If that is not possible, the driver should pull over as far as possible onto the shoulder of the road, turn on hazard lights, and immediately set up traffic warning cones around the disabled semi-truck. Here, however, it appears that safety protocols were disregarded entirely because the semi-truck was reportedly stopped in an active lane of traffic. Whether the semi-truck driver failed to pull the truck onto the shoulder or was simply not provided with the educational resources suggesting that protocol, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where a truck driver would have no choice but to let a big rig stop in a traffic lane.
Additionally, it seems as though the second semi-truck that struck Pipkin’s pickup from behind was not operated safely. Semi-truck drivers should always remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings, taking evasive action when necessary to avoid accidents. Instead, the semi-truck driver that hit Pipkin failed to prevent an accident and does not appear to have made any maneuver to avoid the crash. Again, this could be due to the driver’s negligence (including distracted driving) or a failure by a commercial trucking company to ensure its drivers were properly educated on safe driving.
Although investigators will have to determine the cause of this crash, they should not overlook the obvious disregard for safety exhibited by these two semi-truck drivers. In fact, Pipkin’s family may choose to pursue justice by bringing direct claims against one or both semi-truck drivers and any commercial trucking company involved in this accident to highlight the importance of creating a robust safety culture in truck driving. If both semi-truck drivers had been focused on preventing a fatality, there is a chance Pipkin’s death would have never occurred.
In these times of sadness and grief, our firm can help those impacted by this accident by providing legal strategies aimed at holding negligent parties responsible for Pipkin’s untimely death. There is a high likelihood of recovery for Pipkin’s family through the court system, and our attorneys can help anyone involved navigate the complex process to legal remedy.