Most bridges that have roads passing underneath them also have posted signs noting the maximum vehicle height that can safely pass. A truck driver in Texas ignored one of those warnings and attempted to pass an 18-wheeler underneath a bridge that could not accommodate its height. The resulting truck accident killed one person and injured several others, including the truck’s driver.
The 18-wheeler in question was over 14.5 feet high, while the bridge that was struck had multiple signs posted advising that clearance was approximately 13.5 feet. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, as an oversized load, the owner of the local trucking company should have applied for a special permit. When the DMV issues special permits for oversized loads, it also provides safe, alternative routes. The owner of the trucking company did not seem fazed by this information, and instead questioned why the bridge was not simply constructed to be taller.
What exactly transpired after the truck hit the overhead bridge’s main beam is unclear. However, traffic on the interstate was snarled for a significant period of time afterward, and the resulting collisions resulted in one man’s death. Aside from the truck driver, two other motorists suffered injuries.
While personal injury and wrongful death suits stemming from car wrecks are typically filed against a negligent driver in Texas, there are occasions when multiple parties might be liable. Victims of this truck accident might be able to seek compensation from both the driver for failing to note the signs detailing the bridge’s height as well as from the trucking company’s owner, who failed to obtain the necessary permits to operate an oversized load in the first place. However, whether a suit names one negligent party or multiple others, the outcome is usually the same, with just legal recourse being awarded to victims or surviving family members.
Source: NBC DFW, “Texas Truck in Bridge Accident Did Not Have Proper Permit“, March 28, 2015