The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently investigating a Texas Interstate 45 accident that killed a 27-year-old man. A woman crashed her car into the backend of a trailer that was attached to the man’s flatbed truck. While no charges have been filed yet, accidental death cases like these often lead to civil claims.
The truck was stopped in the left lane of the southbound feeder of the highway, so that the driver could install safety signage. The driver was working somewhere around the stopped truck and trailer when the car sped into the trailer. The truck and trailer then hit the driver who was declared dead when emergency workers arrived at the scene of the accident. The accident report alleges that the woman did not control the speed of her car.
It is too early to tell if charges will be filed against the woman, but it is a possibility. The driver worked for Williams Brothers Construction Co. Inc, the company responsible for the widening of I-45 and other projects for the Texas Department of Transportation. OSHA is now investigating the company and is most likely looking into whether they are Brothers is providing a hazard-free work environment for employees. OSHA requires that employers give their employees proper training as mandated by their clearly-defined standards.
Depending on how workers’ compensation claims work out, the deceased man’s family may be able to pursue a claim against the errant driver or the company. How the family chooses to proceed will largely be dictated by the findings of the investigation in relation to the terms of Texas workers’ compensation and personal injury laws.
A successful claim would provide the surviving family members with some compensation. The compensation will likely depend on the deceased worker’s earnings and will take care of his spouse until she remarries and his children until they reach the age of 18.
Source: Your Conroe News, “OSHA investigating fatal Conroe wreck,” Nancy Flake, Oct. 30, 2012