It was about 8:45 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning, the most traveled day of the year, when one of the most horrific accidents in Texas occurred on Interstate 10 outside of Beaumont. The weather conditions were extremely foggy and cars were apparently slowing down due to the lack of visibility. Deborah Leggio, 60, and her husband Vincent, 64, were killed when their Chevrolet Suburban traveling eastbound was struck from the rear and crushed by an 18 wheeler, which ended up on top of their vehicle. Ultimately, some 140 to 150 vehicles were involved in the pileup.
A veteran police officer for more than 25 years, Jefferson County Sheriff Deputy Rod Carroll, 46, heard an emergency call about the multi-vehicle accident and he responded. Even though Deputy Carroll is a paramedic, he was not prepared for what he was about to witness.
When he arrived at the scene, he stated that the area was so foggy that it was impossible to see more than ten feet in any direction. He reported that there were cars on top of cars, 18 wheelers with massive damage, vehicles in the median and on the side of the interstate with damage and personal articles spread along the roadway.
Deputy Carroll related that the collision scene was over a mile long, with twisted metal making it difficult to determine what type of vehicles were involved. The scene was filled with officers and rescuers, including people who had been involved in the massive pileup, trying to pull victims from their vehicles and give them aid. He said “it was like a Third World Scene”, not knowing what to expect as he walked through the wreckage.
Initially, it is believed that the first collision occurred on the eastbound side of the interstate and westbound collisions followed. Every ambulance in the area was busy transporting some 80 t0 90 individuals to local hospitals. There were 10 to 12 victims who were listed as serious to critical.
The westbound lanes of Interstate 10 were closed for approximately five hours and the eastbound lanes were shut down for over eight hours, while the investigation and cleanup continued.
With most highways in the United States now allowing speeds of 70 to 75 miles per hour, Texas has gone to even a different level. A 41 mile toll road from Austin to San Antonio is going to have an 85 mile per hour speed limit. There is an 80 mile per hour speed limit for some highways in West Texas. The problem is that the higher the posted speed limit, the faster people think that they can drive over the limit without being ticketed. People are now testing their radar detectors and driving at speeds ranging from 85 to 100 miles per hour on interstates.
Unfortunately at speeds like this when something goes badly wrong, such as rain, fog, another accident, a blowout or a distracted driver, the result is going to be massive and more lives will be lost.
If you or someone in your family has suffered from serious personal injuries or lost loved ones in interstate crashes caused by excessive speed, you need to obtain the advice of an experienced Texas 18 wheeler accident lawyer.
Carabin & Shaw, P.C. will provide you peace of mind knowing that you are being represented by attorneys experienced in successfully handling catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases for clients throughout Texas. Our entire team will work with you every step of the way.
Contact us through our website or call our toll free number at (800) 862-1260 to schedule a no obligation consultation regarding your case. You will never owe us a fee unless we make a recovery for you.
Deputy at Texas pileup: ‘Children bleeding … cars on top of cars’, Los Angeles Times, Article by John M. Glionna, November 23, 2012
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