Clarkston, WA — On March 14, 2019, 33-yar-old Derick Ashire was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer at the Port of Wilma Shipping Complex on the Snake River.

According to the Whitman County Sheriff’s OFfice, the incident happened Thursday morning shortly before 7:30 a.m. Ashire had stopped his semi truck, owned by Excel Transport, near Wilma Road at the Port of Wilma to place a tarp over the contents of his rig’s trailer. As he worked, two semi-trailers heading in opposite directions reportedly passed his location. One of the trucks hit and fatally injured him.

Authorities continue to investigate the circumstances of the crash.

Map of the Area

Commentary

Until investigators have more time to put this puzzle together it’s going to be hard to say not only what happened, but who should be considered responsible for it.

That will likely be determined mostly by learning the precise positioning and timing of Ashire, his truck, and the other 18-wheeler that hit him. In defending their driver, the second truck’s employer will likely suggest that Ashire was not far enough off the road to avoid injury, or that their driver was forced too close to Ashire by the truck headed the opposite way.

Whether any of that is true will have to be established by a careful and thorough investigation, and I’m not sure if the local authorities have the wherewithal to uncover the real truth of the wreck.

I don’t say that to undermine the important work that police do, but it’s no small secret that many law enforcement departments are stretched pretty thin. Many don’t have the time, training, or resources to thoroughly investigate incidents like this. Even if officers use the tools at their disposal and do their best to understand a crash scene, they may not have the advanced equipment needed to dig as deep as possible. The less clear a crash initially is, the more likely it is that crucial details will go unnoticed.

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

Some people might call that extra work “overkill,” but here’s the thing–overkill doesn’t exist for investigations. Every fact that can be uncovered should be. A thorough investigation may confirm a plain explanation or a clear cause, but only after doing everything one can to learn the truth 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
— Sheila
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.
— Tophat
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.
— Leif Burton
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...
— Summer
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...
— Hannah Sifford
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.
— Maureen
A lot of people say smack about lawyers, but I want to say that I'm glad there is a way that people who are wronged by corporate neglect can get justice and force change. We are living in a world where corporations and govt care less than ever about common people, and I support your work. I hope I will never need your services.
— Martin Onasis
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
— Leslie
Tony was the step Grant father and it's been hard for the whole family but we know he is in a better place now. It's nice to know that people are rasing awareness with my grandfathers story. Thanks, family and friends of Tony Wray.
— Mercedes Stanley
Thank you for posting these accident articles on your site. At the company that I work for, e deal with monitoring construction activity and work around trenches and all sorts of construction equipment/vehicles. I sometimes wonder if construction companies have enough safety training to inform employees of how to protect themselves while on the job.
— Erik Hofmann
I'd like to thank you for giving my cousin's death some type of recognition and letting our family know he is not a lost cause. Thank you <3
— Victoria

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