Authorities in Montgomery County responded to the scene of a major crash early Thursday morning that required the closure of several lanes for much of the day on Interstate 45 near The Woodlands, Texas. On November 14, 2019, a little before 5:00 a.m., an 18-wheeler crashed into a disabled, occupied Greyhound bus that was stopped on the shoulder along the highway. The bus was traveling from Dallas to Houston and was reported to have approximately 26 passengers on board. Five of those people aboard suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to DPS Sgt. Erik Burse, and were transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital. The driver of the truck was also transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical condition but was upgraded to stable condition shortly after. According to DPS, the other 21 passengers were transported by a second Greyhound bus and taken to their destination.
The Anheuser Busch 18-wheeler was transporting Kroger bottled waters, and for unknown reasons, left the main lanes, colliding straight into the back of the Greyhound bus. The 18-wheeler then bounced off the truck and hit an overhead freeway sign, ripping it off its steel structure. According to Montgomery County and DPS officials, the Greyhound bus broke down around 2:30 a.m. that morning and was waiting for a second bus dispatch had sent to pick up and transport the stranded passengers to their destination. According to reports, the second bus arrived on scene shortly after the accident occurred. Debris from the 18-wheeler and bus were strewn across all southbound lanes of Interstate 45, necessitating its complete closure by officials until about 8:30 a.m., when officials were able to open at least three lanes.
Photos taken of the scene show bottled waters scattered everywhere along the highway, shoulder, and grassy areas, as well as bursting out the front of the trailer. Photos also show that the truck driver’s cab was pushed all the way up and into the trailer, essentially sandwiching the truck driver in, as well as a mangled back portion of the Greyhound bus. It was reported that South Montgomery County Fire was also at the scene in order to keep an eye on the leaking natural gas tank in the truck, which was unable to be shut off due to the amount of damage to the vehicle. HAZMAT International was on scene all morning for the cleanup, and all lanes were not reopened until around 1:30 p.m. that same day.
Fortunately for all those involved, no life-threatening injuries were suffered. However, an investigation into why the truck driver veered off the highway and into the bus is still underway.
Every year, hundreds of thousands in the U.S. are injured in accidents caused by 18-wheelers and/or large commercial trucks. In 2017 alone, there were more than 150,000 accidents nationwide that involved an 18-wheeler and/or large commercial truck. Of those accidents, almost 5,000 resulted in fatalities. Federal statistics show that from just 2015 to 2017, the number of 18-wheelers and/or large commercial trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 225%! A little over 74% of these collisions occurred while the vehicle was in transport of goods.
Here in Texas, the chances of being involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler are much more likely due to the heavy transit in this state. Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents come with a higher risk of death or serious injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, you could be entitled to compensation. Speak with our bus accident attorney for a free, confidential consultation today. When the driver of an 18-wheeler or large commercial truck causes an accident, the consequences can be so much more severe than your average car accident. Because of the inherently dangerous nature of these accidents, you need an experienced injury attorney on your side to make sure that these drivers and the companies they work for are held accountable for their negligence and injuries they’ve caused you.