Two young individuals lost their lives shortly after their nuptials in a grisly truck accident. 

Details Regarding the Accident

On Friday, August 23, two individuals were killed in a collision in Southeast Texas. The accident occurred on State Highway 87 at Orange County Airport, which is just under 100 miles from the Louisiana border.

Not long after couple wrapped up their nuptials at the Justice of the Peace’s office, they were leading their family to the wedding reception when a truck towing a trailer carrying a tractor collided into them just as they pulled into a five lane highway. 

The couple was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the truck suffered no injuries.

Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) lists the top causes of crashes in Texas 2018 as the following:

  • Failure to Control Speed: 138,269
  • Driver Inattention: 84,835
  • Unsafe Lane Change: 37,766 
  • Failed to Drive in a Single Lane: 37,719
  • Failed to Yield-Row turning Left: 32,204

As for the city of Houston, TxDOT reveals the following motor vehicle crash statistics for the same year:

  • There was an estimated 64,126 total crashes in Houston.
  • Of these, 3,693 deaths occured.
  • Possible injuries in the collisions tallied 21,878.
  • 1, 175 suspected serious injuries occured. 
  • In total, there were 197 fatalities in the city that same year. 

Texas Regulations on Trailers

A normal passenger car and light truck must be equipped with Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) approved safety chains to tow a trailer, semi truck, house trailer, or another motor vehicle. If an approved link cannot connect the tow to the vehicle pulling it, then the two must not be connected. 

As per section 545.409 of the Texas Transportation Code, the towing connection must be strong enough to pull the trailers entire weight and must not exceed 15 feet. It must also have a white flag no less than 12 inches square when a towing connection for visibility, regardless if the connection is a safety chain, rope, or cable.

The total length of the vehicle and tow should not exceed 65 feet in length, 102 inches in width, and 14 feet in height. 

Trailers of 3,000 pounds must be equipped with breakaways. Those that exceed 4,500 pounds must have appropriate brakes. As for the speed limit, trucks with trailers should follow the same speed as normal passenger cars and trucks, unless designated otherwise. 

Wrongful Death in Texas

According to section 71.001 of Texas Statutes, any “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of a party that causes the loss of life of another is considered wrongful death.

Wrongful death claims allow surviving family members to recover damages in honor of their lost loved one. Such family members which are entitled to file include the spouse, children, or parents of the individual. 

In Texas, one may file a wrongful death claim or a criminal lawsuit. Such differ in that the claim would pursue damages as the criminal charges would seek to punish the wrongdoing of the defendant. 

Damages that may be compensated in a wrongful death claim include the following: 

  • Loss of income/wages
  • Lost care, support, services 
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased
  • Emotional anguish
  • Mental distress
  • Loss of companionship, love, consortium
  • Lost inheritance
  • Final medical expenses
  • Burial and funeral costs

Should your loved one have suffered a death in which gross negligence or intentional misconduct played a role, punitive damages may be issued against the defendant by the judge as a repercussion. 

Houston wrongful death attorneys ready to fight for you.

The time following the loss of a loved one to a catastrophic collision can be very emotionally and mentally difficult to endure. Take your time to grieve and know that when you are ready, the legal team of experienced Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns is ready to help you seek justice to aid in peace of mind. 

We will work hard to investigate the accident and bring about evidence of negligence to make the situation just. Our goal is to provide support and guidance to those in need, and secure damages to help them best recuperate.

For a team of Houston accident attorneys who hold negligent parties accountable and pursues ultimate compensation for victims, contact Lapeze & Johns at (713) 766-4855 for a FREE consultation now. 

Source: NBCChicago

About Christopher Johns

johnsChristopher Johns co-founded Lapeze & Johns with one thing in mind: civil justice for victims of negligence. Mr. Johns is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried over 50 cases to verdict and judgment throughout Texas, the Gulf Coast, and around the United States with a 98% success rate. His efforts throughout his time at the University of Houston Law Center and as a lawyer have garnered him many accolades, a 10.0 rating from AVVO, and Super Lawyer in Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation every year since 2004. Read more about Christopher Johns here.