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PARKER COUNTY, TX — A truck driver may have fallen asleep while driving eastbound on Interstate 20 in Parker County on Friday June 8 causing the 18-wheeler he was driving to drift off the Interstate, roll down an embankment and catch fire.

View of embankment and overpass on the eastbound side of I-20 at FM 113 where a truck driver fell asleep, ran off the Interstate and was killed on June 8, 2012.

Authorities responded to an accident report at about 2:20 a.m. on I-20 where it passes above FM 113, about 10 miles west of Weatherford.

The accident occurred in central Texas in an unincorporated area of Parker County, TX about 12 miles west of Weatherford and 42 miles west of Fort Worth, TX.

Dub Gillum, senior trooper for the Texas Highway Patrol, told the media that based on witness accounts, investigators suspect the driver may have fallen asleep.

Witnesses said the semi truck drifted to the right of the Interstate, hit a guardrail, flipped and rolled onto FM 113. The semi truck caught fire and the driver did not get out. The truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene, Gillum said.

The victim was identified as a 53-year-old man from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. who was hauling spinach, onions and other produce for a California trucking company. According to the driver’s logbook, the truck left Odessa at about 8 p.m., Gillum said.

The wreck caused damage to the guardrail but traffic was flowing smoothly on Interstate 20 by 8 a.m., he said.

The incident remains under investigation at this time.

Source: Star-Telegram

Dallas / Fort Worth truck accident lawyer, Gordon, Elias & Seely says that driver fatigue and drowsiness are a common cause of commercial truck accidents. Tired truckers are of such concern that in April of 2003, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) instituted new hours of service regulations to curb truckers’ problems with fatigue. While these laws have helped reduce the number of accidents, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board still blames driver fatigue as a probable factor in 20-40% of truck crashes.

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