Mariposa County, CA — On January 29, 2019, 82-year-old Kenneth Keuning was killed when his vehicle collided with a garbage truck in Mariposa County.

Authorities say the wreck happened just after 1:00 p.m. in the Bootjack area of Mariposa County. A Volvo garbage truck was headed north near Wass Road and prepared to take a right-hand curve. A southbound Subaru Forester driven by Keuning was entering the curve at the same time. The Subaru reportedly crossed over the yellow center line of the roadway as it went through the curve; it collided head-on with the garbage truck in the northbound lane.

Keuning was pronounced dead at the scene. The unnamed truck driver, 64, suffered moderate injuries and was taken to John C. Fremont Hospital in Mariposa.

Authorities in Mariposa County continue to investigate the incident.

Map of the Area

Commentary

The news seems to indicate that investigators are confident Keuning was the one who crossed over the road’s center line. I don’t have reason to doubt them, but I would still think that a thorough investigation is in order, and I’m not always positive that local law enforcement has the chops to look deep into an accident as complicated as one involving a commercial vehicle.

I don’t say that to undermine all the valuable work that police do, but rather to note that many police departments are stretched pretty thin. They don’t always have the funding, equipment, training, or time to carefully investigate incidents like this, which require an investigator’s undivided attention.

Even if officers pay careful attention to the scene, they may not have the advanced equipment needed to dig deeper. The more complex or layered the crash is, the more likely that subtle-but-crucial details will slip through the cracks.

That’s why after crashes like this one, I always advise working with a private accident reconstruction expert to look into the crash. Independent investigators are trained and equipped to get every shred of evidence from the scene, from creating laser-maps of the crash to running advanced 3-D simulations and collecting Engine Control Module data from the vehicles involved.

Some people may call all this preparation overkill. After all, the police already said they know what happened, right? That’s actually sort of a problem, because most crashes really aren’t so simple. A more thorough investigation may confirm the police’s estimate, but only after checking out less likely factors can anyone say that for sure.

–Grossman Law Offices

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Recent Comments to the Blog

Jason is back to work and is now playing Sled Hockey and wheelchair rugby!! Jason is the strongest and most amazing man! He may nly have 1/2 a leg, but that is ALL he is lacking!! Thanks to prayer and GOD and awsome first responders and Baylor doctors. Jason's wife, Sheila
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I'm a former employee. I had brought up this exact scenario and suggested a maintenance procedure that would eliminate the possibility of this type injury. Obviously my warning went unheeded.
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I was actually a couple cars back from this wreck, one of the first on the scene, and helped administer CPR on the victims. The truck driver was going way too fast, but it was actually his trailer that swung around and hit the suv, the semi-truck ended in the median.
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I appreciate how you've commentated on this tragedy--informative, with questions, but not hurtful. I live within 30 mins of this crash site, and I am appalled at the entire situation :(. I can't even begin to understand what could have happened to make this come to fruition, but I will be keeping up with it so I can learn what investigations bring to light about how something awful like this could happen. Rest in peace, Thomas, Carolyn and Carolyn...
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I am Anthony Siffords daughter. im 13 and i miss my dad i just wanted everyone to know that he is in a better place now and i would to thank everyone for the support. i miss my dad but it was amazing to see how many people had been toughed by my dad god bless thanks for everything...
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I am Rodney Palmer's sister-inlaw. I am amazed and grateful for all the heartfelt wishes and support for our family... It is difficult indeed to put our thoughts into words, but we very much appreciate your kind and helpful words at a time when these things mean so much. Losing someone as special as Rodney has been tough, but knowing the he has touched so many people's lives keeps my sister's strengthens our family.
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My friend Michael was the one who got hit by this train. This is the ONLY article I can find on it!! How is that possible? It happened almost 5 days ago! Thank you for actually caring about us "no name" people. I hope when more information comes in you will post it as soon as you can. Thank you again!! God bless you
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