LIVINGSTON, TX - Tuesday morning, two people died in an auto wreck involving a tow truck.
According to reports, the tow truck driver broke down on US 59. The driver stepped out of his truck to warn others about his vehicle. That's when a van hit the back of the tow truck; the van's two passengers died at the scene.
The van's occupants were 45-year-old Susie Granger and 41-year-old Shuna Carter.
What's the Right Thing to Do When Your Vehicle is Disabled?
Disabled vehicles are a risk to both that vehicle's driver and others on the road. Especially in times like these where icy roads cause heavy traffic and increased delays, drivers should prepare themselves for the unexpected.
If you're forced to pull over due to bad weather or car malfunctions, you should pull as far away from the road as possible. Remain in your vehicle and call 911 for assistance. Also, put your emergency flashers on to help others see you.
If you have to leave your car, don't turn your back toward traffic; remain aware at all times.
If you decide to leave your vehicle, leave a note with your contact information on the dashboard. That way, police can contact you if your vehicle must be moved immediately.
Is the Tow Truck Driver At-Fault for These Deaths?
According to Texas law, commercial truck drivers are not allowed to stop on highways. However, sometimes trucks break down and drivers are forced to stop; in these cases, federal law requires truck drivers to put out warning signs (like hazard triangles) to warn oncoming traffic.
If truckers don't put out warning signs or place them incorrectly, it's considered an act of negligence and they're responsible for any accident that ensues.
In the case above, the tow truck driver was allegedly on his way out of his vehicle to warn oncoming traffic about the delay. Because of this, the situation becomes muddled. It will take an investigation to determine whether or not the tow truck driver is at fault.