VALLEY VIEW, TX (08/15/2015) – Three people were killed after a wrong way, head-on 18-wheeler crash on I-35 Saturday afternoon.
According to officials, an 18-wheeler crash on Saturday afternoon along Interstate 35 in Valley View, Texas (Cooke County) claimed the lives of three people: 75-year-old John Blackwell, 69-year-old Carol Blackwell, and 62-year-old Bobby Splawn.
Troopers stated that at around 2:00 p.m., an 18-wheeler driven by Splawn was traveling southbound on I-35 when for unknown reasons his truck crossed the center median, plowed through the cable barrier, and into northbound traffic near Hockley Creek Road. Splawn’s semi-truck then collided with a northbound Honda Odyssey minivan head-on.
Both John and Carol Blackwell, the two occupants of the Odyssey, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
According to authorities, Splawn was transported to North Texas Medical Center in Gainesville, Texas where he was pronounced deceased.
An investigation is currently open, and investigators say they are still trying to determine what caused the 18-wheeler to cross into wrong way traffic.
Our thoughts go out to the Blackwell family, as well as the family of Mr. Splawn. While nothing can repair the damage done on Saturday, we hope that an in-depth investigation reveals exactly what factors led to such a tragic accident.
The facts of this accident are strikingly similar to an accident which occurred near the same stretch of highway last year. In September 2014, a big rig driver on I-35 crossed the center median, entered oncoming lanes of traffic, and struck a bus carrying members of NCTC’s softball team. The Department of Transportation responded by installing cable barriers along that stretch of I-35, but as shown in Saturday’s accident (as well as countless others), those type of barriers may be ineffective in stopping large trucks.
We hope that investigators in this case will also take a close look at the effectiveness of cable barriers (versus other types of vehicle barriers), and recommend changes that can help prevent similar deaths from occurring on semi-rural highway stretches in the future.