A deadly big rig crash on Houston’s Eastex Freeway caused an emergency response and a huge traffic delay. The crash happened on the southbound lanes in the Humble area. The truck driver was killed in the crash and there were no other injuries reported. According to police, the truck driver slammed into the guardrail located near FM 1960. The accident happened at about 12:45 AM. The truck lost control after hitting the barrier and then slid. The truck then caught on fire and was engulfed in flames just minutes after the accident.
Witnesses stated that the vehicle exploded when it flipped over. A huge fire ensued and the driver was not located inside the rig until about an hour later. Flames were visible for more than a mile. The road was closed for 14 hours while the fire was extinguished and the road cleaned. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) crews had to repair the guardrail before the road could reopen. Remnants of the truck were unrecognizable. A large black charred area on the road was visible from the air. The big rig was carrying lawn mowers.
What Causes Big Rig Fires?
Big rigs are more prone to catching fire in an accident than are other vehicles. Trucks have many mechanical parts that are exposed, particularly underneath the vehicle. They use different types of fluids, such as hydraulic fluid, which can easily spill onto the road during an accident. As in this accident, big rigs may cause sparks when they crash because of their large metal components. Diesel fuel and other fluids are highly flammable. When they spill on the road, it may cause a hazardous situation not only for the truck, but for other nearby drivers.
Another potential cause of 18-wheeler fires is the type of load they carry. When they carry hazardous materials, they are more likely to catch fire during an accident. Trucks that carry flammable materials may more easily catch fire. Sometimes a truck’s load catches fire without an accident. This can cause the driver to crash. Drivers should be aware of potentially dangerous trucks and maintain a safe driving distance while on the road.
In this accident we do not know what caused the driver to veer out of the lane and hit the guard rail. The accident will continue to be investigated. The driver may have been fatigued or distracted. Truck drivers are restricted in the number of hours they can drive in a row and how long they must rest between shifts. Driver logs will help investigators learn the details of what led to this crash. Driver logs are now electronic so they can provide more detailed and accurate information than ever before. Luckily, this crash did not impact any other drivers. Had the accident happened during the day, the road would have been crowded and other vehicles may have been involved in the crash.
If you were seriously injured in a truck accident, you may be owed money for your damages.
Contact the attorneys for truck accidents at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free initial case consultation today. Call (281) 893-0760!