By Charlie Morasch
A recent Land Line Magazine news article has drawn responses from many drivers concerned about the ability of Texas law enforcement officials to seize trucks before a suspect is charged with a crime.
The magazine’s December 2009 issue reported on a two-week stretch between late August and Early September, when both OOIDA Senior Member Thaddeus Mathews, and OOIDA Member Joseph Dusseau, were arrested for aggravated assault with a motor vehicle by Hillsboro, TX, police.
In both incidents, a young female driver driving a small passenger vehicle merging at the south end of Dallas said she was bumped by the truck. In both cases, police allege the truck driver ran into the car repeatedly, a charge the drivers strongly deny.
Both drivers lost their jobs. And in Dusseau’s case, he lost what he’d been paying on a lease-purchase program through his employer.
Nearly six months after the alleged crash incidents, both drivers have yet to be charged.
Hill County prosecutors returned the case to Hillsboro police last fall. Police have maintained they are waiting for lab results from paint evidence they took from each wreck scene.
“We’re waiting on the samples to get back,” Hillsboro Police Chief Tony Cain said in late January. “I don’t know what the lab’s timeline is going to be on that.”
Mathews and Dusseau have each returned to the road to work for different carriers.
Mathews, a 20-year OOIDA senior member, is hauling shipping containers for a Memphis-based carrier. The regional gig allows him to enjoy evenings at home with his wife of 35 years.
“Frankly, I don’t need to run as hard as I used to,” Mathews said. “I don’t make the money that I used to, but I enjoy being home, eating my own food and enjoying her company.”
Dusseau was scheduled to begin working for Interstate Distributor Co. in early February after his previous employer agreed to remove language associated with his arrest from his DAC report.
“I have to drive an automatic,” he said. “I’m a 379, 13-speed guy. But I’ve gotta do what I’ve gotta do until all this other stuff is sorted out.” LL