WESLACO – It might sound like an April fool’s joke, but it wasn’t. An 18-wheeler loaded with watermelons tipped over on its side April 1 in Weslaco, temporarily halting traffic in the area. The accident happened about 1:00 p.m. at the intersection of International Boulevard and the Expressway 83 frontage road.
The tractor-trailer toppled over as the driver was attempting to make a turn at the intersection, but the details of the accident were still being investigated by Weslaco Police as of this publication.
The watermelons were in an enclosed trailer, so there was no spillage on the roadway. Traffic was delayed, however, as crews transferred the melons to another vehicle, and the damaged truck was removed from the scene.
No injuries were reported.
Commercial driver drug testing
People often assume commercial drivers must automatically submit to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) drug test after an accident. This is not true.
Local police will only administer a field sobriety test if they suspect that the driver was under the influence of an intoxicant at the time of the crash. If you were injured in a commercial vehicle accident, and you observed evidence of driver intoxication, you should tell the police so they can investigate further.
Will the trucking company test the driver?
According to FMCSA rules, the trucking company must test the driver for drugs or alcohol if:
- The accident caused injuries that resulted in medical treatment (other than on-the-scene first aid), and the police issued a citation;
- The accident damaged a vehicle badly enough to cause the vehicle to have to be towed, and the police issued a citation; or
- Someone died in the accident, even if the police issued no citation.
The trucking company must conduct a CDL accident drug test on the driver as soon after the accident as possible. After eight hours have elapsed, however, they no longer have to test the driver for alcohol.
After 32 hours, they no longer have to test the driver for drugs. If the trucking company fails to test the driver for whatever reason, they must issue the FMCSA an explanation of why they didn’t.
If a DUI is established, it will be difficult for the driver, the trucking company, or the insurance company to deny that the driver was at fault for the accident.
Call J. Gonzalez
Trucking accidents can be especially devastating due to the sheer size of a commercial truck. Victims need a lot of compensation, but trucking companies and insurers tend to fight hard to defeat the victims’ claims.
That is why you need the experts at the J. Gonzalez Law Firm to fight for every penny of compensation you deserve. For more information, contact us today at 1-800-CAR-CRASH.