• September 11, 2019

Malcolm Smith, Daniela Kimball Injured in Martinsville, IL 18-wheeler Accident

Martinsville, IL -- September 9, 2019, Malcolm Smith and Daniela Kimball were injured after an accident where multiple 18-wheelers collided.

Investigators with the Illinois State Police reported that the crash happened at around 7:20 p.m. along I-70.

According to initial reports, 54-year-old Kimball was driving an 18-wheeler westbound along the interstate. For reasons unclear, the truck lost control and careened across the center median. The truck then ran into oncoming lanes where it sideswiped another semi. Her vehicle then overturned across traffic lanes. A third 18-wheeler crashed on the median swerving to avoid her vehicle, and the fourth truck driven by Smith crashed into Kimball's overturned truck.

Following the wreck, both Smith and Kimball went to hospitals with unspecified injuries. No one else was hurt. Police continue to investigate what caused the crash.

Commentary

It takes something serious to make a truck driver careen across an entire median. Most commonly, falling asleep at the wheel and distracted driving cause these kinds of crashes. That said, you wouldn't know that talking to trucking companies. After a crash like this, their number one priority is to avoid responsibility. The number one way they do this is to simply blame something else.

For example, I've often litigated cases where they tried to blame the crash on a sudden, unforeseeable mechanical issue. In reality, these are incredibly rare, but the burden of proof is on victims and families. As such, it's up to the plaintiff's attorney to put together clear evidence which shows exactly what caused the crash. Trucking companies aren't just going to cooperate with those investigations, so it usually requires expert accident reconstructionists and legal tools such as subpoenas to gain access to the evidence the trucking company wouldn't otherwise want in the open.

And even if a mechanical failure did cause the crash, the vast majority of those happen due to poor maintenance, not some mysterious, out-of-the-blue accident. Verifying the truck's condition requires access to the truck itself and maintenance records, which again requires compelling the trucking company through the court system to hand over.

That's just an example of the challenges victims and families face in a specific, although common, trucking company defense tactic. There are countless reasons this particular crash could have happened, and there are many explanations a trucking company may have to excuse themselves. Whatever the case may be, investigators need to lock down evidence as soon as possible.

--Grossman Law Offices

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