On Tuesday morning, at least four cars were involved in a crash on I-44 that took the life of a Wichita Falls man. At about 5:15 a.m., the first car struck a landscape bolder that was in the freeway. The wreck happened in a southbound lane of I-44 over Old Iowa Park Road. Since the crash is still under investigation, very few details have been released. According to KFDX News Channel Three, the roadway had to be closed for about four hours while crews worked the scene.
There is no word on how many people were injured in this crash. One person died as a result of the wreck. The victim, 76-year-old Ramon Hernandez, was from Wichita Falls. Initial investigations are focusing on videos from surrounding businesses to determine if the boulder was dropped by a rock hauling truck. They are also exploring the possibility that it could have been dragged up by a semi truck from a landscape area. Hopefully, investigators will soon find out how the boulder came to rest on I-44
Loss of Cargo
When trucks lose cargo, everybody on the roadway is put at risk. Unsecured cargo in the back of a truck or trailer can cause a deadly situation for following motorists. Even at relatively low speeds, loose cargo flying through the air can be incredibly hazardous. Once the debris has reached the roadway, motorists are forced to either stop short or try to navigate safely around it. This can interrupt the flow of traffic and cause dangerous multi-car wrecks.
FMCSA’s Cargo Securement Rules
As of 2002, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released new rules for proper cargo securement. These new performance requirements are designed to keep cargo securely in place during deceleration in the forward direction, acceleration in the rearward direction and acceleration in a lateral direction. The rules include the requirements for securement devices, proper use of tie-downs, use of unmarked tie-downs, unrated and unmarked anchor points and front end structures of commercial motor vehicles or CMV’s. Part 393.136 concerns the transportation of large boulders.
Dangerous Debris in The Roadway
Anytime a commercial or private motor vehicle loses cargo, following drivers are put at risk. In this case, law enforcement officers are actively trying to determine where the boulder came from. When boulders and other dangerous pieces of cargo aren’t secured properly, people can get hurt and killed. The team at the Altman Legal Group sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Ramon Hernandez.