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Brooks Schuelke
Brooks Schuelke
Contributor •

Lessons From A Tractor-Trailer Crash — Be Careful In Construction Zones


Yesterday, a horrific tractor-trailer wreck occurred in North Texas when an eighteen wheeler slammed into the back of traffic stopped on Interstate 35 near the Texas-Oklahoma border. Tragically, three people (Anthony and Kimberly Brandon of Bedford, Texas and Darryl Hoosier of La.) were killed in the wreck. The Brandon’s vehicle exploded on impact. Mr. Hoosier was killed as the eighteen wheeler, driven by James Crayton, of Dallas, pushed Mr. Hoosier’s vehicle into another tractor-trailer that was in front of Mr. Hoosier.

What lessons can we learn from this? The Cooke County Sheriff investigating the case noted that this is the second fatal collision at this construction zone this month. And the wreck is not unique. Auto accidents in construction zones are becoming more and more frequent, and are killing more motorists. It is critical that people are aware of the risks and start paying attention. As the Texas Department of Transportation says:

Just why are there so many wrecks? Speeding is one reason. However, our contractors and maintenance crews say people not paying attention to their driving is probably the biggest reason for wrecks. Situations and circumstances are always changing in work zones. Lanes narrow and traffic often slows down to much lower speeds. In fact, one out of every three work zone wrecks involve rear-ended crashes. There’s a good chance you’ll run across a construction zone the next time you hit the highway. Remember to slow down, pay attention, and give some space to the car in front of you.

Given the facts of this wreck, it’s clear to me that the driver of the tractor-trailer was distracted by something; you don’t just hit someone full speed if you’re paying attention to the roadway. This is speculation on my part, but from working trucking cases, I’m guessing the driver was either over-worked or using a cell phone, for talking or texting.

Whatever the cause of the wreck, I hope the families involved find some peace somewhere. These are the types of tragedies that should never occur.


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  1. Steve Lombardi says:
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    Brooks, We had the same type of crash in Iowa on I-80. My guess is the trucker was texting or otherwise distracted while driving.

  2. Facebook User says:
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    Darryl was a friend and I appreciate your discussion about this topic. It’s always talked about when it’s too late, but at least it’s a start.

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    Thanks for the comment, and I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I don’t have any illusions that I’ll make a huge change by writing about this danger, but as you said, at least it’s a start.