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Fatal accident takes truck driver's life in Texas collision

There's a doctrine in the law of negligence based on a driver being confronted with an emergency. If someone else puts you in an emergency situation where you have to react instantly, the law will not second-guess your choice of action done in a split-second attempt to escape injury. That issue could potentially come up in Texas regarding a fatal accident that occurred in Scurry County on Monday morning, Sept. 9.

A 40-year-old Snyder man was killed after the truck he was driving was hit by another vehicle in Scurry County. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the accident occurred about 8:35 a.m. on Camp Springs Road, a few miles east of Snyder. The decedent was driving east in his 2007 Freightliner truck when a 1984 Mercedes travelling in a westerly direction came off the middle of the roadway into the Freightliner's lane.

The Freightliner moved quickly to avoid the Mercedes but the Mercedes clipped the truck's right rear side. The truck went off the roadway into a ditch and rolled over. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, but a passenger in the truck was treated for minor injuries and released.

The Mercedes driver was taken to University Medical Center, where he was stable with internal injuries. Authorities continue to investigate to determine whether to file charges, said a trooper with the Scurry County's DPS office. Although perhaps the truck driver might have found a better move to keep from ending up as a rollover, the emergency doctrine will not allow second-guessing in retrospect. It appears that a wrongful death action in the truck driver's estate exists against the driver of the Mercedes.

Unless the reported facts are revised upon final report by the authorities, Texas negligence law will attribute fault to the driver of the Mercedes in this fatal accident. The Mercedes crossed the center line and came directly into the lane being used by the truck driver. The Mercedes struck the side of the truck, which was followed by the truck going off the road and turning over. These are all indicative of negligent operation by the Mercedes driver, based on the facts thus far reported.

Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Snyder man killed in Sunday traffic accident, Josie Musico, Sept. 11, 2013

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