• March 15, 2019

Shawn Alston Killed, Derwin Patton Injured in Steuben County, IN, Accident

Steuben County, IN -- March 14, 2019, Shawn Alston was killed and Derwin Patton was injured following a head-on accident involving trucks.

According to preliminary details released by the Indiana State Police, the accident happened at around 11:40 p.m. in the Fremont area.

Investigators said that 44-year-old Alston was driving an 18-wheeler along the Indiana Toll Road when it somehow ran across the median into oncoming traffic. There, it collided head-on with an 18-wheeler driven by 54-year-old Patton. A third semi then collided with them.

As a result of the crash, Alston succumbed to fatal injuries. Patton was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. No one else was hurt.

At this time, the cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Map of the Area

Commentary

Most people understand that accidents like this need to be investigated thoroughly to determine exactly what happened. There is one factor in the news, however, which brings up a little-known issue of truck accidents. The news said that the injured truck driver was expected to be released soon after the crash. I truly hope that's the case, but there are times where seemingly minor injuries can prove far more serious.

I litigated a case not long ago where a truck driver was rear-ended by another 18-wheeler, and medical teams sent him home with some "minor" back pain. Not two days later, he could hardly move due to excruciating pain. It turned out that minor pain was actually a ruptured disk which leaked spinal fluid. Ultimately, the injury required invasive surgery and extensive rehab--far beyond a "minor" injury.

What makes this more problematic is some injuries--concussions, for example--may not show themselves for weeks or months. Victims who think they're okay might not gather evidence immediately following the crash, so by the time they need to, that evidence has all but deteriorated. Again, I truly hope these reports are accurate and these injuries were no big deal. But experience has taught me to always treat these situations seriously just in case.

--Grossman Law Offices

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