HUDSPETH COUNTY, TX — Truck Driver Killed in Fiery West Texas Crash
Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019 at 2:47 pm by Williams Hart
Officials are reporting that on Saturday, July 13th, at 10:50PM, an 18-wheeler was traveling down the eastbound lanes of I-10, about ten miles outside of Sierra Blanca, a small town located in far West Texas, when it crashed into the back of another semi-truck.
The Texas Department of Public Safety stated that the driver, Kulwinder Singh, 36, of Van Nuys, California, slammed into the back of the second 18-wheeler. He then became trapped in the cab of his truck when it caught fire upon collision. He did not survive.
The other driver, Reymundo Abilio Tejada, 65, also of Van Nuys, California, sustained injuries but is in stable condition, according to the DPS. It is unknown if he was hospitalized.
We are saddened to hear of Mr. Singh’s passing, and our condolences are with his family and loved ones. We also wish Mr. Tejada a speedy recovery.
No further details have been provided on the nature of the accident, however collisions involving 18-wheelers are especially prevalent in rural West Texas and share a number of common causes.
Common Causes of Big Rig Accidents
- Driver fatigue
According to the Texas Trucking Association, the state is short nearly 50,000 truck drivers and that number is only expected to increase. With a rapidly retiring workforce, lack of interest from younger generations, stagnant wages, and increasing freight loads, truck drivers are burdened with longer working hours and less time to get from point A to point B.
- Drug and alcohol use
Legal and illegal drug and alcohol use contributes to nearly 65,000 big rig accidents annually. Inconsistent drug and alcohol testing for CDL drivers operating a commercial vehicle is a significant issue. Furthermore, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that 22 percent of truck drivers were driving while receiving disability benefits for epilepsy, alcohol addiction, or drug dependence.
- Texting and driving
The likelihood of being involved in an accident on the road is 23.2 times higher for truck drivers who text while behind the wheel than for those who don’t.
Other common causes:
- Overweight freight loads
- Improper vehicle inspection and maintenance
- Cargo security
- Poor road conditions and infrastructure, especially in rural West Texas
Road Fatality Prevention Measures
Road accidents involving 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles are only expected to increase. While it can be difficult to prevent human errors that cause 18-wheeler accidents, there are measures that can be taken to subdue the number of fatalities that are expected to occur in the future:
- Drivers must adhere to limited work hours regulations, such as the 11-hour driving limit and 60-hour weekly duty limit. If the demand for new truck drivers is to be met, life on the road must be improved with shorter work hours and more time to rest.
- Practice safe driving, for both truckers and passenger vehicles.
- No tailgating, use turn signals, minimize lane changing, stay out of blind spots, use caution in work zones and in inclement weather, and apply breaks early.
- Logistics professionals must be cognizant of safety measures such as land transportation safety policies, routine commercial vehicle inspections, and proper freight load management that would further reduce drivers’ exposure to fatal road hazards.
Get the Justice You Deserve
Road fatalities and injuries involving 18-wheelers are serious realities for both big rig operators and regular vehicle passengers. Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in truck driving accident injury cases and can help you get the justice that you or your family deserve.