At 1:30 am this morning, a woman lost her life in a fatal car crash when an 18-wheeler struck a pickup truck that had been hauling livestock in a trailer. The accident occurred on I-35 North in Oak Cliff when the pickup truck driver lost control of her vehicle. The pickup truck hydroplaned across the highway and jackknifed coming to a stop across the opposite lane.
Jackknifing occurs when a vehicle and its attached trailer get out of sync during towing to form an L or a V shape, and is often due to a lack of traction on the roads like rain or ice. Once a car has jackknifed it’s stuck. The passengers in the pickup were about to exit the car when an 18-wheeler crested the hill over the highway and struck the pickup on the passenger’s side. One passenger, Regina Raquel Duane, was killed at the scene. The driver and other passenger, a 26-year-old McKinney ISD teacher and a 15-year-old girl (possibly Duane’s daughter) were also injured and taken to Methodist Hospital. The driver of the 18-wheeler sustained no life-threatening injuries.
There was a mandated blood test performed on the driver of the semi-truck, but it’s unknown charges will be filed. It’s possible that in this case the real culprit was the wet roads that caused the pickup truck to lose control. In a hydroplaning situation a driver’s first instinct might be to slam on the brakes, however, unless the vehicle or its trailer is equipped with anti-lock brakes, the instinct to slam on the brakes will make the situation more dangerous. Safety experts recommend letting off the gas and gently swerving the car forward, only lightly pumping the brakes if necessary. As thunderstorms continue to strike the DFW area this autumn please drive with extra caution.