FORT WORTH (04/12/2015) — Five people were killed and twelve more were injured after an 18-wheeler truck slammed into an existing accident scene on I-30 early Sunday morning.
It started with a single crash which occurred when a motorist allegedly drove into the dividing concrete on the highway. Many drivers passed the accident, however, a few good samaritans stopped with the intention of trying to help the affected motorist. What followed was another crash which resulted in the deaths of 5 individuals and injuries to 12 more.
As motorists were trying to help the driver involved in the initial crash, an 18-wheeler truck slammed into the rear of the existing accident scene. It appears that most of the motorists who died were outside of their vehicles when the semitrailer struck the stopped vehicles. The 2nd collision also resulted in a fire which engulfed a large number of vehicles at the scene.
Three women and a man died at the scene while another died shortly after in hospital. One female victim was transported by air ambulance (CareFlite) to Parkland Memorial Hospital for treatment of burns. Three others were taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, and another three victims were taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital.
The names of the deceased victims have been released: 45-year-old Steve Franklin of Fort Worth, 18-year-old Clarissa Alexandra Banda-Castillo of San Antonio, 43-year-old Mary Hernandez of Fort Worth, 37-year-old Claudia Barraza of Fort Worth, and 42-year-old Veronica “Roni” Gonzalez, also of Fort Worth. Gonzalez’s fiancé, Ely-Alba Gonzalez, was also seriously injured and is currently recovering in a local hospital.
The truck in question was carrying the Sunday edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The truck driver allegedly suffered minor injuries and was one of those hospitalized. His name, however, was not released. According to reports, the truck driver has not yet been cited, but it is important to note that the police are not finished with their investigation.
18-wheeler trucks, while playing a very important role in our economy, can be a serious threat to other motorists. When involved in an accident with passenger cars, the results are often tragic. One mistake by the truck driver can easily result in fatalities. Truck drivers know this, and this is why they are held to a higher standard than passenger car drivers.
Truckers know their vehicles take much longer to stop, and are trained to drive at a safe distance. One has to wonder how an 18-wheeler accident such as this was able to occur.