29 October 2016
24 September 2016
At approximately 1:50PM I left Austin Coke after making a drop of a loaded trailer and picking up empty trailer TA954165. Following the navigation I exited from Reid Road onto Longhorn and then made a left turn at the light onto Burnet Road.
Ahead of me was another Schneider truck that had just departed Austin Coke. We made the left turn and I followed him in the left lane of the two lanes in order to enter the tollway entrance one mile ahead on the left side.
The Schneider truck and I both slowed because the light at the intersection at Burnet Road and Rutland Drive had just changed to green and traffic was just beginning to move. As I slowed I watched on my right a black PT Cruiser begin to slowly roll down the slightly inclined exit of the parking lot of a Jack-In-The-Box at the corner of the intersection. I watched the PT Cruiser cross the first empty lane and my first thought was the driver intended to pull in tightly behind me on my bumper as I passed.
But as I passed and shifted up and began to accelerate I saw that the PT Cruiser was heading straight for me. The driver was not braking. With the truck ahead I could not accelerate faster and I watched in my passenger side mirror the PT Cruiser crash into my curbside front trailer tandem and skirt guard. I felt only a little jolt and watched the PT Cruiser spin to the side, its front bumper torn off and other pieces flying onto the road. The PT Cruiser had moved slowly as if the driver had simply released the brake on the small inclined exit of the parking lot--the driver had not seemed to apply the throttle.
PT Cruiser rolled down this banked parking lot exit and collided perpendicular with my trailer
I stopped and threw on my flashers and jumped out to check on the driver. Two workers were already pushing the PT Cruiser back out of the road to the parking lot exit. It was an old woman and she was helped out of the vehicle and led to sit under a tree. I returned to my cab for my reflective triangles to set out behind the truck and came back to see the engine of the PT Cruiser was smoking and someone was spraying it with a fire extinguisher.
An ambulance arrived and there were EMS speaking with the old woman who sat on the curb under the tree. One of the EMS told me she was uninjured but was not making any sense when asked basic questions. "Who is the President?" I heard her asked. "It is Tuesday," she replied. The EMS told me she believed her friend was driving and not her. But there was no one with her. The old woman had also prior to the accident attempted to enter the Jack-In-The-Box drivethru through the exit.
Two motorcycle cops were first onto the scene and I explained what had happened. A woman named Tameka approached me saying she had been in the car behind my truck and witnessed the whole accident. She gave the same report I did and gave me her phone number in case I needed a witness.
The old woman, who I learned was 84 years old, was taken in an ambulance for further observation. Her PT Cruiser was towed away. The front tandem tire on my truck was punctured in two places and flat and I called for roadside assistance to replace it. The motorcycle cops provided me an escort back to the Austin Coke plant where I waited for roadside assistance and parked for the night for my 10 hour break. Although the state of Texas does not assign fault in accidents, reports are written with the party most at fault as specified as motorist #1, which was in this case the old woman. I did not receive a citation.
I realized later that perhaps I had saved the old woman's life. Had she not struck my trailer she would have continued on into the two lanes of traffic on the other side of the road. A motorist with his view obscured by my truck and the truck ahead of me would have collided with her, t-boning her car and then probably being hit by other vehicles.
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