Two drivers were tragically killed last night when an out of control 18-wheeler struck a toll booth at North Beltway 8 near Veterans Memorial. A Channel 2 News story reports that, according to the Harris County Toll Road Authority, a car was waiting at a toll booth paying a toll when the big rig hit the toll booth, lost control then landed on top of another car before bursting into flames. A story by the Houston Chronicle states that the deceased motorists are the driver of the 18-wheeler and the driver of the car that was waiting at the toll booth when it was struck by the big-rig. Investigators are working to determine what caused the 18-wheeler driver to loose control of his truck. Channel 11 reported on the deadly crash here.
There is a reason 18-wheelers, otherwise referred to as big-rigs, are heavily regulated by the federal government. Because large trucks massively outsize and outweigh passenger cars there is great potential for 18-wheeler accidents to cause serious injury or death to other motorists. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) require that inter-state 18-wheeler operators carry at least $750,000 of liability insurance. Depending on the loads they are hauling they may be required to carry up to $5 million in insurance. Many truck drivers are diligent and professional and take safety very seriously. Unfortunately some truckers or their companies do not however, and over more than 20-years of practice Smith & Hassler has seen many examples or distracted, tired or overworked truck drivers hurting or killing others. Getting professional legal representation as soon as possible after a truck accident is critical. The trucking company and their insurance company will move quickly to do their own investigation in an attempt to avoid or shift blame. Call or email Smith & Hassler as soon as possible after your trucking accident, and don’t speak to the insurance company representatives before you do.