A semi-truck driver who fled the scene of a crash involving two motorcyclists in Refugio, Texas, has been arrested and charged by Texas police. The incident took the lives of both the motorcyclists, who were from Victoria, Texas. Police believe the truck driver was attempting to make a U-turn across the highway when the accident occurred, which is a common cause of semi-related crashes. Truck crashes like this one are a reminder of the extra dangers that negligent drivers and trucking companies can pose to other motorists.
The population of Refugio County was only 7,321 people in 2016, yet that same year the county had 43 crashes involving motor vehicles. Texas had the highest number of fatal crashes involving large trucks of any state in 2015, the last year for which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has data available.
Numerous truck crashes across Texas in recent days add to those numbers and solidify the state’s status as one of the most dangerous areas in the nation for commercial vehicle incidents.
Arrest Made in Truck Crash in Refugio that Killed Motorcyclists
March 10, 2018
An investigation into a fatal crash involving a semi-truck in Refugio is ongoing, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
The crash occurred on U.S. 77 at approximately 10:22 p.m. as a 2007 Freightliner semi-truck was traveling northbound in the right lane of the roadway two miles south of Refugio. Two motorcycles—one ridden by 44-year-old Dawayne Bray and one ridden by 50-year-old Christine Diane Thames, both Victoria residents—were also traveling northbound in the left lane. The unidentified driver of the tractor-trailer attempted to turn left in what officials believe was a move to make a U-turn, and both motorcycles crashed into the trailer of the big rig. The semi did not stop.
“The driver continued to make the U-turn and was stopped in Woodsboro,” Nathan Brandley, a spokesperson for the DPS said to the Victoria Advocate. “I don’t know if he knew, or not, that he had been struck.”
It was the motorcycles that collided with the semi’s trailer, but it is not known whether they were forced into the maneuver by the truck’s turn. Both Thames and Bray were pronounced dead at the scene.
The unidentified semi-truck driver sustained no injuries in the crash and was caught by police in Woodsboro and arrested for fleeing the scene. Texas State Troopers are still investigating the circumstances of the crash.
Harris County Deputy Hospitalized in Truck Crash
March 15, 2018
A deputy in Harris County, Texas was transported to Bayshore Hospital after an incident involving a work convoy truck that was accompanying a street sweeper vehicle as it cleaned roadways on Beltway 8 in Pasadena.
Officials say that the deputy was driving south on the roadway, in the same direction as the street sweeper and work convoy truck when he collided with the back of the vehicle for unknown reasons at approximately 4:30 a.m. Images from the scene show some damage to the back of the truck and extensive damage to the front of the patrol car.
Officials immediately closed all southbound lanes of the Beltway 8 in the Red Bluff Road area as the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Vehicular Crimes department responded to the crash and began their investigation. They reopened the lanes just before 6:30 a.m.
The deputy was “alert” and in “good condition” with non-life-threatening injuries.
Jefferson County Truck Crash Kills One
March 9, 2018
A 26-year-old Dayton man is dead after colliding with a big rig in Jefferson County. The incident took place on Highway 73, not far from Wilber Road.
DPS officials say that the 26-year-old, since identified as Joshua Caleb Crunk, was driving a 2016 Chrysler passenger vehicle eastbound at approximately 6:00 a.m. Seventy-five-year-old Jesus Chapa, an Alvin resident, was driving a 2008 Peterbilt semi-truck in the same direction and had slowed to make a right turn onto Wilbur Road when Crunk’s Chrysler collided with the rear of the tractor-trailer.
Jefferson County Justice of the Peace Ray Chesson pronounced Crunk dead at the scene. Chapa sustained no injuries.
One Fatality, Two Children Injured in Cactus Semi Accident
March 9, 2018
An investigation is ongoing into a semi-truck crash in Moore County that left a woman dead and two children hospitalized, but DPS officials say that the woman may have been distracted by something in the car at the time of the accident.
The incident occurred as 19-year-old Marisleydis Fernandez-Sierra, a Sunray resident, was driving two miles south of Cactus behind a tractor-trailer driven by 38-year-old Jarrod Hutchinson, an Amarillo resident.
Fernandez-Sierra crashed into the back of the big rig for unknown reasons. Officials pronounced her dead at the scene, while two children—a one-year-old and an eight-year-old—were transported by air to an area hospital for the treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The children have not been identified nor has their connection to Fernandez-Sierra.
Neither Fernandez-Sierra nor the 8-year-old were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.
On January 29, 2018, a 49-year-old woman died just half a mile from the crash that killed Fernandez-Sierra, also after colliding with the rear of a semi-truck. Officials have not commented on any road conditions in the area that may have contributed to the crashes, but truck safety advocates sometimes see that areas with multiple crashes have issues related to road design or maintenance.