MARLIN, TX (01/08/2016) — Brandice Ray Garrett died on Friday following a head-on collision involving an 18-wheeler that was operated by an incarcerated man.
According to authorities, 43-year-old Brandice Ray Garrett was killed in a head-on accident that occurred on Highway 7 at County Road 181 in Marlin, Texas.
Officials stated that at around 5:10 p.m. on Friday, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) 18-wheeler was traveling in a convoy from Huntsville, Texas to Gatesville, Texas to deliver freight.
The driver of the TDCJ 18-wheeler was 47-year-old Venson Williams—a prisoner who earned a commercial license through a vocational program while incarcerated. He worked as a driver after his original parole release, and continues to work for TDCJ while serving a secondary sentence.
Williams, who was traveling westbound, attempted to pass a slower vehicle when he collided with Garrett’s 2015 Nissan Versa head-on.
Police reported that Garrett died at the scene. Williams was not injured.
This fatal accident remains under investigation.
Passing on a two-lane highway may be somewhat routine for drivers in rural areas, but it’s extremely rare for the driver of an 18-wheeler to do so. When your only option to pass is by using the oncoming lane of traffic, you have to be extremely cautious. I find it incredibly risky for a commercial vehicle such as an 18-wheeler to attempt this maneuver in almost every situation. Semi trucks are unable to quickly accelerate, and their trailers are very long. This means that they will spend FAR more time in the oncoming lane than any other type of vehicle.
A normal passenger car may take 8-10 seconds to overtake a vehicle. While I admit I do not know how long the truck spent in the oncoming lane, one could reasonably assume that an 18-wheeler might take 45 seconds or longer. Seeing as the speed limit on this stretch of highway is 75 mph, how much distance would be covered by both the 18-wheeler and oncoming traffic in 45 seconds? 10,000 feet!