18-wheeler parked 2 days on highway shoulder involved in fatal crash

HOUSTON -- Witnesses say the crash scene Sunday afternoon was horrific. The small Honda sedan smashed more than three-half way under the disabled truck.

But the first question to the people who live around here was not how did the accident happen, but why was the truck even here?

Killed in the crash was 42-year-old Marcus Fulton of Coldspring. The DPS fatality report says that he was distracted by his cell phone at the time of the accident, but the report does not say exactly how troopers came to that conclusion.

Kathy Wonzer knows exactly when she first saw the tractor trailer stopped on the side of Interstate-45 North.

"It was on Friday about 11:15," she said.

She remembers clearly because she says she saw the driver of the truck relieving himself on the side of the road.

Wonzer owns the Fish Pond Restaurant, just north of Shepherd Hill, and she was surprised when she saw the same truck still there the next day.

"Usually they stop at one of the truck stops. You know we have two of them here," she said.

So when Wonzer heard about the horrific crash on Sunday, she knew what it had to be.

"That truck did not hit that car. That car just ran into the back end of that truck," she said.

Pictures at the scene seem to show that the trailer was very close to, or even slightly over the line in the lane of traffic and on the shoulder of I-45.

"It was right there, it was," Wonzer remembered.

Plenty of folks in the area wonder why it was there for so long.

"I'd have been towed way before that," another trucker said.

State law says that any vehicle that is abandoned for 48 hours can be towed by police and the costs billed to the vehicle's legal owner.

Montgomery County Resident Patty Vogel thinks it should have been much less than that,

"Three or four hours that is it. Police should stop within a three or four hour period to see if something is wrong," Vogel said, adding "They would do it to my car I know that."

What may have complicated this situation is the fact that the truck was never abandoned.

The driver, 68-year-old Blooki Yahya was with the truck, in the sleeper when the accident happened. He was treated and released from the Hospital.

Ultimately, DPS troopers say, no matter where the truck was parked it is the responsibility of the drivers passing by to avoid it, whether it was a hazard or not.


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