Robert C. Hilliard Calls For Ban on Roadside Parking Following Tragic Death
September 25, 2023 – Nationally recognized trial attorney Bob Hilliard, founding partner of Hilliard Law in Corpus Christi, Texas, appeared on CBS News to shed light on a common roadside hazard: commercial truck parking on highway off-ramps. This practice can have deadly consequences. Hilliard represents the family of Mario Gonzalez, a 74-year-old man who lost his life at 2:00 AM on July 14th, 2023. The tragic accident occurred when Mr. Gonzalez exited the highway, and his 2017 Ford F-150 ran into the back of a darkened 18-wheeler – parked with no cones, no lights, and no markings – on the access road of a rest area off of Interstate-37, north of Corpus Christi, TX.
As CBS reports, the nationwide shortage of rest stop spaces for large trucks results in many drivers parking on the sides of off-ramps, leading to serious and foreseeable dangers. Parking along the side of the road has become commonplace for 18-wheelers due to overcrowding at rest stops. When 18-wheelers can’t find space to park inside a rest area, they pull their rigs onto the access road next to the rest stop and keep them there throughout the night. This practice creates substantial dangers for other drivers.
Hilliard notes, “It doesn’t take a lot of professional experience to understand the dangers of an 18-wheeler parked on a roadway at night in the dark.”
Gonzalez died just two days after a similar crash in Illinois, where three people were killed when a Greyhound bus crashed into several big rigs parked along a rest-stop access road.
In 2020, 4,000 injury accidents and 55 fatalities involving big rigs occurred near the interstate on and off-ramps.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg notes, “This is not just a quality of life issue for truck drivers … but also a safety issue for the entire system.”
While the Department of Transportation is providing grants to expand truck parking in several states, broader legislation to address this hazard has stalled.
Now, Hilliard and the Gonzalez family want parking on the side of the road banned to prevent more accidents.
“Mario Gonzalez’s tragic death highlights the urgent need for change in our transportation system,” stated Hilliard. “We cannot continue to ignore the risks posed by insufficient rest stops and dangerous conditions on our highways. The time for action is now.”
For more information about Bob Hilliard, Hilliard Law, and their advocacy efforts, please visit Hilliard-law.com.
About Hilliard Law:
Hilliard Law, formerly Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP (HMG), is a nationally renowned law firm based in Corpus Christi, TX. With a history of success in personal injury and mass tort litigation, Hilliard Law is committed to providing aggressive representation and seeking justice for its clients. Bob Hilliard, owner and founding partner, has led Hilliard Law to the forefront of national trial law firms. Having tried over 150 jury trials, Mr. Hilliard is also a two-time winner of the National Law Journal’s prestigious Elite Trial Lawyer of the Year award for product liability and motor vehicles and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer for the past 20 years. Mr. Hilliard is double board certified and recognized as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the United States. In the past year, Hilliard Law’s 40-lawyer firm has already secured over 100 million dollars in verdicts and settlements. For more information, visit www.hilliard-law.com.
Office: (361) 882-1612