Nine Soldiers Dead in Fort Hood Flash Flood Accident
A terrible accident occurred at the end of last week in Fort Hood, Texas, when a flood-swollen stream washed away a tactical vehicle, leaving nine soldiers dead. The floods were the result of the torrential rains that have hit Central Texas hard over the last few weeks, which has caused many rivers and streams to overflow their banks throughout many parts of the state. According to officials with Fort Hood, the truck carrying the soldiers overturned just as commanders were beginning to close roads at the Army post. The creek that swept them away is about 20 miles long and passes through some very thickly wooded areas, but according to the Fort Hood press office, the accident area had not previously been affected by heavy flooding, so it caught many by surprise.
Over the weekend, Fort Hood released the names of the victims, who ranged in age from 19 to 38 and included eight members of the 1st Cavalry Division, as well as a cadet from West Point. At a press conference in Singapore, Defense Secretary Ash Carter promised a full investigation. So far, Fort Hood officials have only described the training mission as “routine,” but it is believed that the troops were being trained to operate the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV) and that they were not sent out in conditions too dangerous for training. They quite often pass through such weather conditions, but this time, the water rose too quickly to recover.
Many areas of Texas have seen roads turned into fast-moving rivers during this Spring’s unprecedented rains, so this may be a good time to remind drivers throughout Texas how to drive when flash floods are possible. The first rule of driver safety is that driving in flash flood conditions is always a bad idea. Everyone has seen news stories of stranded vehicles and people on storm-drenched roads or having to leave their vehicles behind.
Whenever a road is covered with water, the driver should consider the road unsafe for cars and even many pickup trucks since they can easily float or be swept away in even just 10-12 inches of water, especially if it is moving rapidly. Once that happens, the driver will lose control and could become trapped if the car ends up on its side or upside down. It’s not worth that kind of risk. A car is no match for an uncontrolled current.
Even when a somewhat panicked driver manages to get out of the vehicle, they may have to deal with passengers in the car. There is also the inherent danger of swimming against a strong current or being hit with large pieces of debris being carried by the current. There is also the danger of being submerged while fully clothed or carrying a small child to worry about.
It is not uncommon after flash floods for drivers to be found drowned inside their upturned vehicles while still wearing their seat belts. In some cases, even if the water isn’t moving fast, high waters can leave you stranded in an unsafe area, with major damage to your vehicle.
Please be careful when driving in heavy rain. If you can avoid going out at all, you should stay home. If you have to go out, be careful. Try not to test your car’s ability to drive through flood waters. Also, it might be a good idea to keep some emergency supplies in the car at all times, such as a center punch, in case you have to break a car window to get out and a seat belt cutter, so that you can remove occupants.
We at the Hill Law Firm want your family to be safe and secure during times like these. However, if you have encountered flooding and have to deal with the insurance company, please contact our Auto Insurance Lawyers today to help you get what you deserve.