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Two Truck Collision in Reeves, TX Results in Tragedy

On January 8, 2020, 44-year-old Wajma Popal was killed in Reeves, Texas when her car was hit by a tractor-trailer. The crash, which involved three vehicles, occurred roughly 28 miles west of Balmorhea on Interstate 10, at approximately 1:15 p.m. The accident involved a head-on collision when the truck drifted across the center divide and struck Ms. Popal’s Nissan Altima. This resulted in the 18-wheeler rolling over and colliding with another tractor-trailer. Neither truck driver was injured. Wajma Popal died at the scene.

What Happens When a Big Rig Collides with a Passenger Vehicle?

Most deaths in crashes involving large trucks are passenger vehicle occupants, as stated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). A tractor-trailer can weigh 20 to 30 times the weight of an average passenger vehicle and, when fully loaded, an 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. When compared to a 3,000-pound passenger vehicle, a full-size truck can cause devastating injuries. The significant height of commercial trucks also plays a factor in deadly underride accidents.

Additional analysis by the IIHS found that 4,136 people in the U.S. were killed in truck accidents in a recent year. Only 16% of those fatalities were occupants of large trucks. Passenger vehicle occupants accounted for 67% of total truck accident deaths, and pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists accounted for 15%. Ultimately, when a passenger vehicle and large truck are involved in a two-vehicle crash, 96% of the people killed were passenger vehicle occupants.

What Causes Truck Accidents

In a study of 963 accidents, which included 1,123 large trucks and 959 other vehicles, 55% of the trucks were cited as the primary cause of the crash, as reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The main factors contributing to accidents associated with large trucks and their drivers, in descending order of relative risk, were:

  • Brake problems
  • Traveling too fast for road conditions
  • The driver was unfamiliar with the roadway
  • Roadway problems
  • Over-the-counter drug use
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Driver fatigue
  • Driver felt under pressure from the carrier
  • Driver made an illegal maneuver
  • Driver inattention
  • External distractions
  • Tire problems
  • Driver following too closely
  • Truck jackknifing
  • Cargo shifts
  • Driver illness
  • Internal distractions
  • Illegal drugs
  • Alcohol

What to Do After a Serious Truck Accident

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a collision with a tractor-trailer, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will need to act quickly to prevent valuable evidence in your case from being destroyed. Truck accidents are complex cases involving multiple potentially responsible parties and state and federal regulations. A thorough and timely investigation is necessary to determine fault and liability and to gather and preserve evidence to support your claim.

Our Reeves trucking accident lawyers at Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP have extensive experience negotiating on behalf of critically injured victims. If we take on your case, we will perform a detailed investigation of your case to determine all liable parties and fight for the maximum compensation. Contact us at (903) 207-5526 to schedule a free consultation after a serious truck accident.