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Welcome to Texas Work Injury Law Blog

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for work injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by work injuries.

Posts Tagged ‘Texas Department of Public Safety’

A Contract Worker is Struck and Killed by an 18-Wheeler on I-20 in Sweetwater, Texas

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Sweetwater, Texas, railroad overpass (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

A contract worker was struck and killed by an 18-wheeler on I-20 in Sweetwater, Texas, on Wednesday morning, December 6, 2017. The fatal crash occurred close to mile marker 248. Sixty-two-year-old Jesus Vicente Enriquez of San Angelo, Texas, was part of a construction crew surveying a site in which five crashes had occurred earlier in the day, all of which involved 18-wheelers, according to Sweetwater Fire Chief Grant Madden. Madden said the road has a slick spot that isn’t related to weather. The Department of Public Safety said Enriquez was standing in the median of I-20 when an 18-wheeler headed east jackknifed, slid into the median, and struck him. Enriquez worked for Reece Albert, Inc., which is based in San Angelo. In the previous crashes that day, one driver had suffered minor injuries.

Madden said that right around 7:30 a.m. or so, a string of accidents involving 18-wheelers began to happen, one after the other. Enriquez was working as a contractor for a paving company. He had been surveying the damage caused by a previous crash. When the fatal accident occurred, he was standing on the median looking at the diesel spill that was to be cleaned up. No one else was in that area when the big rig lost control and ran over him. Two other contract workers who witnessed the truck losing control quickly moved, to stay clear. Enriquez was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Sweetwater fire department investigated the scene to find strategies for preventing any further accidents from occurring.

–Guest Contributor

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Inattention is a Factor in a Fatal Bridge Collapse in Salado, Texas

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Wildlife overpass 'Beukbergen' (N237, near Soe...

Wildlife overpass ‘Beukbergen’ (N237, near Soesterberg) under construction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The deadly bridge collapse and five-vehicle crash that occurred on Interstate 35 in Salado, Texas, in late March has been under ongoing investigation. An update from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) was released in May, and it indicates that the horrific scene may have been caused by driver inattention.

DPS says that a northbound flatbed 18-wheeler that was hauling a lift boom did not have the proper permit for an oversized load. The significance of such a permit is that the drivers are provided with temporary use permits that include detailed alternate routes so that the trucks can avoid roadway system vulnerabilities, such as low spans. It is believed that the load on the truck struck three concrete beams as it drove underneath the overpass that was still under construction. The first and second beams shifted, broke, and fell. The third beam shifted approximately two feet but remained intact.

One of the beams fell onto a pickup truck headed southbound. Thirty-two-year-old Clark Brandon Davis, the driver of the pickup, was killed. Three other drivers were injured, sustaining non-life-threatening injuries. A second 18-wheeler was struck by one of the beams and burst into flames, and two other vehicles were also struck.

The driver inattention comes in with regards to three signs that were posted in advance of the bridge, all warning of a vertical clearance of 13 feet 5 inches. This was a bit less than the actual height, which was a temporary height related to construction. The normal clearance for major highways such as I-35 is 16 ½ feet.  The commercial truck which struck the beams had a clearance of 14 feet ½ inches.

Read more in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Highway Construction Worker is Injured in a Hit-and-Run Accident in Lubbock, Texas

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

A construction worker with column reinforcemen...

A construction worker with column reinforcement steel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A woman was arrested in Lubbock, Texas, Wednesday for an alleged hit-and-run accident involving a highway construction worker. The accident is still under investigation; but according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the woman struck the construction worker as she was on the right shoulder passing several vehicles. She fled the accident scene, but police caught up with her a short time later and arrested her for failure to stop and render aid.

The construction accident occurred on Highway 87 not far from Woodrow Road at about 2:30 p.m. The 44-year-old worker suffered moderate injuries and was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

Cpl. John Gonzalez with DPS said that construction zones are located throughout the Lubbock area, and motorists need to slow down and be alert to the workers and to the entire surroundings in work zones. There is often heavy traffic in work zones; and there are usually a lot of obstacles, as well. Gonzalez further said that workers have been killed and others severely injured because of the carelessness of drivers.

Dianah Ascencio, spokesperson for DPS, says that this hit-and-run construction accident is a reminder that motorists need to proceed through construction zones with caution. Driving conditions are not normal. For example, pavement may be uneven. There may be barrels, cones, and concrete barriers.

In addition, Ascencio said that at any given time, there are 2,500 construction work zones in Texas. For the safety of the workers and motorists themselves, it’s important to slow down, be alert, and be patient when traveling through work zones.

–Guest Contributor

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Work Injury Attorney: A Highway Construction Worker Dies in the Waco, Texas Area; TxDOT Examines Policies – Part 1

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

English: Wind turbine blade on Interstate 35 n...

English: Wind turbine blade on Interstate 35 near Elm Mott, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week a 41-year-old construction worker was killed as a crew worked on Interstate 35 in the Elm Mott area not far from Waco, Texas. A southbound tractor-trailer struck a road construction truck; and the crash forced the construction vehicle to strike a street sweeper, which in turn crashed into a GMC pickup. The man who was killed, Josh Trinard McGowan of Dallas, Texas, was standing near the street sweeper when the chain reaction collisions occurred.

Another man’s leg was severed in the accident; the man’s identity wasn’t revealed as notification of his family members was pending, and his current condition is unknown.

Because three fatal construction zone collisions have occurred in the Waco area on I-35 just since September 18th, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is compelled to review current construction advisory measures for highway construction zones.

Trooper D.L. Wilson of Texas Department of Public Safety says that TxDOT has been heeding federal safety guidelines, and there’s nothing construction companies can be faulted for in cases of driver error. However, TxDOT will work with DPS and its construction contractors to make an evaluation and determination regarding whether additional advisory and safety measures should be put in place.

TxDOT believes that adequate measures have been taken regarding getting a message out to motorists that extreme caution should be used when entering construction work zones.

It’s helpful to safety efforts that speeding fines are doubled when someone is caught breaking the speed limit in an active construction zone; fines can be as high as $400.

Learn more about the information and statistics related to construction work zone accidents in the second part of this two-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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Waco Work Injury Attorney: A Construction Worker is Killed by a Passing 18-Wheeler in Waco, Texas

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Desert Highway Diecast Diorama

(Photo credit: PMC 1stPix)

A Houston, Texas, construction worker was killed Tuesday while working north of Waco, Texas, in Lacy-Lakeview. According to investigators with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), 42-year-old Manuel DeJesus Rivas was putting up a sign in a construction zone off I-35 near the Crest Drive Exit when he was struck by an 18-wheeler. The driver of the big rig continued traveling northbound after the accident, according to witnesses. Rivas was quickly transported to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

After the accident, a pickup truck driver attempted to flag down the 18-wheeler, according to witnesses. DPS investigators would like to speak with that pickup truck driver because they think he may be able to help them track down the big rig driver. The pickup is described as a 1990s Ford.

Several agencies worked in cooperation to try and locate the 18-wheeler, including sheriff’s deputies from Hill and McLennan counties and officers from Hillsboro and West police departments.

Ken Roberts, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) spokesman, urged drivers to be aware of the distinction between open road and work zones. In roadway construction zones, drivers should always slow down and stay alert to workers in the area. Roberts further said that speed and inattention are the causes of most work zone crashes, injuries, and fatalities.

Texas laws do not always allow injured workers to sue their employers directly. If a contracting company is at fault for an injury accident in the workplace, however, there is a potential for filing a claim to recover such damages as medical costs, loss of pay while recuperating, and pain and suffering. When an employee dies in a work injury accident as a result of the employer’s gross negligence, certain family members can sue the employer, whether or not the employer carried workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

–Guest Contributor

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