ROCKWALL (CBSDFW.COM) – One person is dead, two others are injured after Texas Department of Safety troopers said the driver of an 18-wheeler failed to stop, creating a chain-reaction wreck.
The crash caused a shutdown in both directions of I-30 near the town of Fate on Tuesday.
Investigators said witnesses told them the driver of the semi-truck did not slow down with traffic and rammed into the back of a car.
Piece of shredded metal remained scattered over the highway as police tried to determined what happened.
“It’s a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Pete Schulte, a former police officer now defense attorney. “I mean these accidents happen nationwide every day.”
Schulte said he unfortunately investigated several crashed involving big-rigs during his time as an officer.
“They’re going to look at brakes. They’re going to look at, was the rig too heavy? Was he fatigued? Was he looking at something in the cab? Was he under the influence of drugs of narcotics or alcohol?” said Schulte.
Schulte said the law is increasingly harder on commercial truck drivers.
“It’s a privilege for them to be able to make a living driving over the interstate every day or every week and they have to follow the law,” said Schulte. “When they don’t follow the law, it actually comes back and hits them harder.”
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the trucking company believed to be involved experienced seven violations since October of 2016.
Three of the violations were for speeding, another three were for lane restrictions and one was for following too close.
The FMCSA data also shows a wreck involving one of the company’s drivers February of 2017 in Louisiana.
“If they rack up enough violations, they’ll shut them down,” said Schulte.
But ultimately, Schulte said it is up to the driver and the trucking company to make sure they are operating safely.
“There are safeguards, but sometimes something like this has to happen for those safeguards to be checked,” said Schulte.
A dispatcher for the trucking company believed to be involved in Tuesday night’s fatal wreck said they were aware of the wreck but did not reveal any other information, including the condition of its driver.