Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 29, 2015 – Truckers are required to obtain permits when hauling an oversized load. The driver in this case did not get a permit.
Lares Trucking, a smaller trucking firm, primarily hauls lumber, logs, building materials, poles and other general freight. A two-truck outfit, the rig involved in this accident hit the overhead bridge support beam on I-35, causing the deadly accident near mile marker 286 Salado, roughly 40 miles north of Austin. The bridge was under construction at the time.
The trucker and his company neglected to acquire the necessary permit for his oversized load that would have allowed the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to map out a safe route. The rig driver and two others were injured. Clark Davis of Arlington died at the scene when a bridge beam collapsed onto his pickup truck.
“The trucking firm had been inspected five times within the past 24 months, with inspectors discovering enough defects to pull both vehicles out of service,” explains attorney Bobby Lee, founder of Austin’s personal injury firm Lee, Gober & Reyna, who is not involved in the case. “The defects flagged were a cracked, loose and/or sagging truck frame and the brake-warning device not working properly.”
The trucking company owner claimed he had not applied for a special permit because he did not know the bridge was not safe to pass. “It’s a new bridge. Why don’t they construct it more high?” he asked.
Despite the fact that there were warning signs indicating the clearance of the bridge to be 14 feet, 7 inches, the driver tried to drive under it. Interestingly, interstate highways in rural Texas usually have a clearance of 16 feet. The bridge in Salado was thus only half an inch higher than the big rig attempting to pass under it and a good 2 feet or more lower than what the TxDOT manual indicates should be the required clearance. The local television station subsequently discovered that the city was supposedly going to lower the roadway in question to meet manual standards.
The family of the deceased Arlington resident may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit. “There is evidence of negligence and that is one of the key requirements in filing a lawsuit seeking compensation for the death of a family member,” indicates Lee.
Most wrongful death lawsuits are not about revenge. They are about getting a message out. In this case, that message would be twofold: ensure bridges conform to existing TxDOT requirements and acquire appropriate permits when hauling an oversize load.
To learn more, visit http://www.lgrlawfirm.com
Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759
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