According to the Houston Police Department, a bicyclist was struck by an 18-wheeler and killed on Friday, July 28, 2023. The accident occurred around 4:30 pm. According to witnesses, the 18-wheeler truck was leaving from the parking lot of the Goodwill located at Fuqua and Sabo when he pulled onto Sabo Street attempting to go against the normal flow of traffic. Witnesses indicated that the driver does this regularly.
At the same time, a yet-to-be-identified bicyclist was traveling the wrong way on Sabo and attempted to cross in front of the 18-wheeler. Apparently, the truck drivers did not see the bicyclist and ran into him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Why Did the Truck Driver Drive the Wrong Way on Sabo?
Why the truck driver felt the need to drive the opposite way of traffic to exit Goodwill is a mystery. Wrong-way accidents often result in head-on collisions and are a very serious risk to wrong-way driving. There are exits onto Fuqua and Sabo and the intersection is controlled by a traffic light. Thus, it seems there were plenty of options for him to exit the parking lot in a legal manner. Fuqua and Sabo streets are both divided roads with two lanes on either side of the median. There are designated turn lanes at the intersection itself.
Why Did the Bicyclist Attempt to Cross When He Allegedly Did?
The story is unclear as to exactly where the bicyclist was crossing in front of the 18-wheeler. It was reported as he was traveling the opposite way of traffic on Sabo as well.
What Duties Were Violated By the Truck Driver?
All Texas drivers, including 18-wheelers, have a duty to keep a proper lookout and to follow the rules of the road. Following the rules of the road includes driving on the right side of the roadway. Thus, the truck driver clearly violated at least one of these two rules.
What Duties Were Violated by the Bicyclist?
Contrary to what many people think, cyclists are required to follow the same rules as full-sized vehicles in order to prevent bicycle accidents. This means that the bicyclist was required to also be riding with the flow of traffic. Pedestrians are required to walk the opposite way of traffic on the left shoulder when a road has no sidewalk. Bicyclists are not pedestrians, however.
Why he did not see the 18-wheeler and avoid the truck also raises questions regarding keeping a proper lookout that will be difficult to answer now that the cyclist is deceased. Thus, the same duty questions apply to both parties involved in this collision.
In Texas, when two parties bear some responsibility for an accident, the question becomes ‘Which one is more at fault?’ Under our comparative negligence rule, if your negligence is over 50% of the cause of the injury, you cannot recover a penny from the other party. If your negligence is found to be between 0% and 51% of the cause, you can recover the percentage of your damages equal to the percentage of the other party’s negligence. If you are 0% negligent, you recover 100% of your damages. It is ultimately up to a jury to decide the percentages and decide the fair value of compensation for your damages. Thus, both, one, or none may be liable for your damages.
Talk to a Houston Lawyer
Accidents involving shared liability and fatalities can be extremely difficult to sort out. The police investigation does not always yield a complete picture. If your family loses a loved one in such a situation, talk to a personal injury lawyer about your rights. Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., Injury & Accident Lawyers have been helping accident victims in Houston, TX for over 40 years.