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This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for 18-wheeler truck injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by 18-wheeler accidents.

In Edna, Texas, An 18-Wheeler Driver is Killed in an Accident Believed to be Caused by Fatigue

Monday, July 16th, 2012


English: Tight Squeeze Access north of the A2 ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier this week 38-year-old Michael Villela of Edna, Texas, was traveling on Alternate U.S. Highway 77 near Edna when his 18-wheeler veered across the center lines, off the road, and into a large tree.  Villela, the only occupant, was ejected from the truck.  He was pronounced dead at the scene in the early morning by Peggy Mayer, Justice of the Peace in DeWitt County.  An autopsy was not ordered.

It’s believed that Villela fell asleep while driving.  Accidents caused by fatigue are common not only among big rig drivers who must drive long hours in a push to deliver and/or pickup their freight but also among drivers of passenger cars.  In fact, statistics show that as many as 20% of fatalities resulting from traffic accidents were accidents linked to fatigued driving.  The percentage may be even higher, but it’s difficult to prove that a person was fatigued when an accident happens.

Some of the things which occur when a driver is fatigued include:

  • Loss of focus.
  • Veering into another lane which can sideswipe or, in an 18-wheeler, crush another vehicle.
  • Failure to properly check the mirrors, which can also lead to turning into another vehicle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that approximately 37% of all drivers admit that, at least once in their lifetime, they have fallen asleep while driving.

An 18-wheeler accident which is caused by fatigue and results in a fatality can be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.  In this case in Edna, while a horrible tragedy, at least did not injure or kill anyone else.

–Guest Contributor



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