A big rig driver is dead after a crash that occurred on State Highway 71 near Austin. According to reports, the 18-wheeler was apparently trying to get on westbound Highway 71 when the truck drifted into the right lane and flipped over. Reports initially indicated that there was a truck fire, but rescue crews found that the rig was not on fire. It was carrying concrete bags which burst open when the rig overturned, causing concrete dust to enter the air, which looked like smoke.
Our hearts go out to the family of the truck driver.
A crash investigation is being completed to determine exactly what occurred. Fortunately, in this case, there were no other vehicles involved and no other injuries besides the fatality of the truck driver. There are many unknowns as to why the accident happened. What is known is that the driver appeared to be trying to get onto the toll road when he failed to stay on the pavement.
The road was closed for hours while crews worked to clear the highway. Workers had a difficult time due to high temperatures. The temperature on asphalt and concrete pavement can be 15 to 20 degrees higher than the air temperature, making it hard for rescuers and cleanup crews to do their work.
In this case, the big rig overturned in the crash. It is unclear as to whether the driver lost control of the rig and tried to overcorrect, causing the vehicle to overturn. However, that can be a common cause of big rig rollovers.
Another problem may have been a shifting load. When the load is heavy and not properly distributed or secured, it can make it difficult for the driver to handle. If the load shifts, the rig can be pulled in a direction at a force that is unmanageable.
The driver may have been traveling at a rate of speed that was too fast to enter the ramp to the highway. A mechanical failure cannot be ruled out, nor can any other contributing factors. This accident requires more investigation and the Austin Vehicular Homicide unit is asking the public to come forward with any information they may have if they witnessed the accident. If you have any information about this accident, please call the Austin PD to offer your help. Often, when trucks overturn, they can fall onto other vehicles, causing a serious multiple vehicle accident. Luckily in this case, that did not occur.
What to do After an Accident with a Big Rig
If you are involved in an accident with a big rig, it is important to follow a few steps. Call the police immediately to report the accident and make sure that your vehicle is in a safe position. You may need to pull over to a safe spot rather than stay in the middle of the road where you could get hit again. Do not exit the vehicle in traffic.
The police will investigate the accident, take statements from the drivers, and talk to witnesses. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible and save all of your medical records and bills. Consult with an attorney to discuss the details of your case.
If you were hurt, the negligent driver may be responsible for your medical bills and other damages caused by the crash. Contact attorney Greg Baumgartner today for a free case consultation- (281) 893-0760.