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Two Dead in Deaf Smith County Trucking Accident

Two people were killed Tuesday as a result of a 18-wheeler crash in Deaf Smith County.

Details of the Deaf Smith County Trucking Accident

According to the Amarillo Globe-News, the fatal crash occurred around 9:30 am on U.S. 385, roughly 14 miles north of Hereford.

Preliminary reports suggest a semi-truck traveling in the northbound lanes of U.S. 385 began to hydroplane and veered into the southbound lanes where it collided with a tractor-trailer.

The driver of the southbound truck, 20-year-old Kenneth Bernal, was ejected from his vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. DPS said Bernal was not wearing a seatbelt.

The driver of the northbound truck, 64-year-old Michael Betzold, was also pronounced dead at the scene.

Texas Trucking Accident Statistics

The following information was provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA):

  • 438,000 trucking accidents were recorded in the U.S. in 2014, resulting in 3,903 deaths and 111,000 injuries.
  • Of those killed in trucking accidents:
    • 17 percent were occupants of large trucks
    • 73 percent were occupants of other vehicles
    • 10 percent were listed as nonoccupants, including bicyclists and pedestrians
  • Texas led the nation in trucking accident fatalities with 553 trucking-related deaths reported. California followed Texas with 300 recorded deaths.

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