Soldier Thrown from Truck Bed, Dies in Bell County. What's the Law in Texas?

 

The Truck Bed Accident

Monday, four active duty soldiers were hog hunting. Two sat in the front of the truck and two were in the bed. The driver reached the gate of the property when he noticed the two in the bed were missing. 

The driver turned around to go back for them - one found, the driver and passenger put the pair back into the truck and rushed to Metroplex Hospital. 

One soldier - whose name has not yet been released - was dead on arrival. The other, Joshua Moore, 22, was in critical condition. 

 

Is It Legal to Ride in the Bed of a Truck In Texas?

Tragic accidents like these raise certain questions, and one is this: is it legal to ride in the bed of a truck? In Texas, the answer is yes, it's legal for people over the age of 18 to ride in an open bed of a pickup truck. 

For those under the age of 18, riding in the back of a truck is illegal except in certain situations. For instance, if the pickup is being used in a parade. Also, in emergencies or farm operations, it's legal to be a passenger in the cargo area. 

 

Can a Driver Be At-Fault for Allowing Others to Ride in the Bed?

Despite the law permitting over-18-year-old to ride in a pickup truck's bed, the driver still has a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of all occupants. In situations like these when a passenger is hurt or killed, they or their family has a right to file a claim against the driver for compensation for medical bills and more. 

I've written more extensively on the topic of pickup truck bed laws and the legal implications in Texas. You can find that article here.

 

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