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Good Samaritan stop kills Texas officer, severely hurts another

Victims and families cannot anticipate the sudden death or permanent disability of a loved one. Purchasing insurance for the possibility of tragedy is not the same as dealing with the reality of swift, horrific circumstances. No one can truly estimate the final costs of long-term suffering.

A recent truck accident in Texas Hill Country injured four people and killed one man. Two of the victims were 49-year-old police officers, members of a Houston metro Special Weapons and Tactics force. One officer died. The other suffered a catastrophic injury requiring the amputation of both legs.

The veteran SWAT officers were off-duty on a Friday night, headed home together on Interstate 10 after a hunting trip. The officers were among a group of motorists who stopped around Kerrville to assist a disabled motorist.

The trailer the stranded driver was hauling had broken loose after an accident with a pickup. The trailer ended up in a dangerous spot blocking the interstate’s left lane. The motorist’s car and passerby vehicles were along the right side of the road on a bridge.

A witness said the officers were exiting their car when a “barreling” tractor trailer slammed into the pedestrians and parked cars. The truck driver later told authorities he braked but glanced off the trailer. The driver said he had no opportunity to steer away from the rest of the vehicles.

A car occupied by an elderly couple was violently shoved against a guardrail. Four victims were hospitalized, including the officer whose legs were crushed. The other policeman was killed instantly.

Investigators do not believe the tractor trailer driver was impaired. Driver fatigue may have been a factor.

Criminal charges have not been filed, although claims for personal injury and wrongful death could be. The truck driver is the obvious defendant in a civil case, but the driver’s employer might share responsibility for causing harm due to negligence.

Source: mysanantonio.com, "Hill Country crash kills Pasadena officer" Brian Rogers, Apr. 28, 2013

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