According to the Department of Public Safety in Chilton, an 18-wheeler westbound on State Highway 7 lost control on the wet road and slid into a pickup truck heading north on U.S. Highway 77. The crash caused a fire to engulf both vehicles because the 18-wheeler had a load of kerosene.

The 39-year-old man driving the pickup truck died. Authorities said that he was from Troy. A man from Houston operated the 18-wheeler. The 45-year-old escaped unhurt from the fiery crash.

Due to the kerosene spill and fire, a hazardous materials team needed to respond to the accident. The highway was closed for hours while the specialists cleaned up the scene.

Surviving relatives of people killed in commercial vehicle crashes sometimes have cause to make wrongful death claims. Driver negligence might not be the only source of liability in such an accident if the commercial trucking company did not maintain a vehicle safe for use. A survivor could consult with an attorney, who might be able to identify evidence indicating unsafe actions on the part of the truck driver or trucking company. A wrongful death lawsuit aims to compensate a surviving family member for expenses such as funeral bills and lost household income.

An attorney might be able to help a survivor estimate total damages associated with the death by explaining all the expenses a person has a right to claim if negligence occurred. This information could support negotiations for a settlement. An attorney could also take the case to court if a responsible party resists accepting liability for a death.

Source: KWTX, “Fiery Crash Claims Life Of 39-Year-Old Central Texas Man,” Dacota Taylor, April 27, 2015