Fulton, AR — A woman from Ashdown has been declared missing as of Saturday morning after an 18-wheeler accident on the I-30 Bridge knocked her into the Red River. The accident happened last Saturday morning, February 8, at about 2:00 a.m. and the missing woman was identified as 43-year old Janis Burns-Northcross.
According to the reports, there was a car accident on the ice-covered I-30 Bridge early that Saturday morning, which left a vehicle up against the guardrail. Two other cars stopped to give help and Burns-Northcross was among those.
As the group worked to free the first car, an oncoming 18-wheeler truck came upon them and started to jackknife, unable to slow down in time. The 18-wheeler hit one of the vehicles, causing Burns-Northcross and a man, Ricky Norwood, to jump off the bridge to safety. They landed in the Red River below, which was estimated to be about 29 degrees cold.
Norwood was able to swim to safety, but Burns-Northcross has not been found. Multiple rescue workers embarked on searches, but were only able to find personal effects and items.
It’s not clear if any other people were hurt or if the trucker will face any charges in regards to the wreck.
Scene of the Accident
In a situation like this, you would think that the 18-wheeler would be at fault for crashing into the other cars. However, it’s not always that simple and I wouldn’t be surprised if the 18-wheeler’s trucking company claimed that the other cars were at fault for blocking the roadway. This can be tricky. “Peril invites rescue” is a term used in the legal profession to describe a situation where someone involuntarily places themselves in harm’s way while trying to help in an accident. I think it’s possible to argue that the people helping in this accident were not at fault, but simply trying help in a perilous situation. Obviously, I don’t know all the facts here, so I don’t want to speculate on what isn’t certain. I just want to provide a framework for understanding how the law might affect this situation.
— Grossman Law Offices