Owingsville, KY — March 14, 2019, Christopher Short was killed and John Walls was injured after an accident where an 18-wheeler crossed into oncoming traffic.
According to investigators with the Kentucky State Police, the accident happened at around 3:45 a.m. near where I-64 crosses Licking River.
Troopers stated that 44-year-old Short was traveling westbound along the interstate at the time. From oncoming lanes, an 18-wheeler driven by 47-year-old Walls somehow lost control. This caused the semi-trailer to careen across the median and into westbound lanes where the two vehicles collided head-on.
Due to the severity of the collision, Short died at the scene. Walls was taken to a hospital with unspecified injuries.
The exact cause of the crash has yet to be determined. Investigations are ongoing.
Map of the Area
I think the question on a lot of people’s minds is, what causes an 18-wheeler to lose control so badly that it crosses an entire median? I’ve litigated hundreds of truck accidents over the years, many with similar facts. In a lot of those cases, the trucking company claimed that a medical emergency caused their driver to lose control. Is that a legitimate defense?
There are times where a medical emergency is a legitimate defense if it actually occurred. For example, a stroke is something which is often unforeseeable, and a trucking company likely wouldn’t be able to prevent that sort of thing. If that happens, then certainly the trucking company wouldn’t be responsible for the crash. However, a common medical emergency for drivers is a heart attack. These can definitely be hard to predict, but sometimes trucking companies put drivers behind the wheel despite them having poor health records or even failing physicals that show the driver is at a risk for a heart attack.
All that said, the times I’ve encountered a trucking company claiming a medical emergency caused a crash, they either could have prevented or were straight up lying. And to be clear I’m not saying that’s what happened here. This is just one of many factors which needs to be investigated thoroughly, and it’s important victims and families understood what that entails. They’ll need access to the driver’s medical records and driving history, which are valuable pieces of evidence that trucking companies don’t just hand over. Those affected by the accident will need to utilize subpoenas and the power of the courts to compel the trucking company to cooperate so they can know for sure they’re getting the full story.
–Grossman Law Offices