A two-vehicle accident ended in tragedy Tuesday, April 8, claiming the life of a Glen Rose man.
Local emergency responders and law enforcement officials were called to the scene of the wreck at approximately 6:25 p.m. after a caller reported that an accident had occurred at the intersection of Texas Hwy. 144 and US Hwy. 67.
According to Department of Public Safety Trooper Robert Bradshaw’s report, a 1993 Kenworth truck and trailer owned and operated by R.D. West Trucking, of Godley, and driven by Colin Stuart Graham, 20, of Cleburne, was traveling eastbound on Hwy. 67.
The passenger car, a 1998 Nissan Maxima, driven by William Bernard Cooper, 71, of Glen Rose, was stopped at the traffic light on Texas 144.
Bradshaw reported that the 18-wheeler was coming down an incline as he approached the intersection and was apparently accelerating to meet the posted speed limit.
In the accident report, Bradshaw says Graham “stated he looked away quickly as he was shifting gears and when he looked back up, the traffic light had turned yellow.”
The driver of the 18-wheeler “felt there was not enough distance to stop the fully loaded unit” as the traffic light turned red, the report states.
Graham reportedly said he activated his horn as he neared the intersection while he attempted to slow down.
Cooper, unaware of the approaching 18-wheeler, proceeded into the intersection with a green light, apparently not hearing the big rig’s horn or seeing it approach the stop light.
Bradshaw reported that the 18-wheeler struck Cooper’s car on the left-passenger side, pushing the vehicle down Hwy. 67 until it came to rest on the shoulder of the eastbound lanes.
Following an investigation of the accident the state trooper determined factors contributing to the fatal accident were failure to stop at the traffic signal, driver inattention and failure to control speed on Graham’s part.
The driver of the 18-wheeler was reportedly wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident and was not injured.
Cooper, who was also wearing his seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Dwayne Griffin.
Graham, whose vehicle was driven away from the scene, was later charged with criminal negligent homicide, which in Texas is defined as a person who commits an offense if he causes the death of an individual by criminal negligence.
A state jail felony, criminal negligent homicide is punishable by six months to two years in jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000.