A terrible Texas car-truck accident occurred last Wednesday evening, July 23, and took the life of an 18-year-old woman as she was on her way to Lufkin, where she was planning to stay with a cousin before beginning freshman orientation at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches Saturday morning.
According to an accident report, the accident happened when the young woman pulled out in front of an 18-wheeler at the intersection of Davisville Road and North Medford Drive at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday night. One possible reason for the errant turn may have been because a temporary stop sign had been knocked down earlier.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is overseeing construction work on U.S. Highway 59. Traffic from Davisville Road is able to enter the northbound ramp onto the highway, or cross it to get onto Loop 287. The construction company had installed a temporary flashing red light along with a temporary stop sign. Unfortunately, photographs taken just minutes after the accident show the sign, which reads “Cross traffic does not stop” and indicates that traffic should come to a stop before entering onto North Medford Drive, was lying face-down at the time of the crash, which left just the temporary flashing red light for traffic control.
Skid marks at the scene show that the driver of the 18-wheeler, 39-year-old Warren Jones of Belzoni, Mississippi, had attempted to stop before slamming into the driver’s side of Rainey Blaylock’s 2010 Kia Soul was driving. Though Blaylock was wearing her seat belt, the massive impact of the crash ejected her, and she became caught beneath the 18-wheeler’s trailer. Both vehicles came to rest approximately one-tenth of a mile from where the impact. A Justice of the Peace pronounced Blaylock dead at the scene.
Two days later, TxDOT issued a statement saying that their preliminary investigation indicated that the stop sign had apparently been knocked down by a truck, but that they had no idea when that occurred. They said a stop sign has an extremely high priority and they are immediately replaced when one is damaged or destroyed, but they had not been notified that the sign was down.. They noted that the flashing red light at the intersection was an added safety feature to warn motorists stop.
Blaylock’s cousin is on record as saying she believes Blaylock, who had never driven that stretch of road, missed her turn but realized it quickly, and exited onto Davisville Road to make the turnaround. Blaylock was less than two miles from her destination at the time of the accident.
This is a typically tragic car-truck accident, and this young woman’s family needs answers. Accidents like these lead to a lot of questions; how skilled was the truck driver and what kind of condition was his truck in? The skid marks demonstrate an attempt to stop, but was the truck capable of stopping in time? And he very important question; who knew there was no stop sign, how long was it down, and who was responsible for replacing it? All of these questions and many others must be answered to determine fault.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a terrible accident involving a motor vehicle, please contact the car accident lawyers Hill Law Firm as soon as possible to protect your rights.