Pedestrian Jeffrey Freyer Killed by 18-Wheeler on Interstate 475 in Toledo, OH
Toledo, OH -- July 7, 2021, 67-year-old Jeffrey Freyer was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on the shoulder of Interstate 475 in Toledo.
Authorities say the incident happened around 4:55 p.m. on westbound I-475 near Secor Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Freyer's vehicle broke down in the area and he was walking away from it on the westbound shoulder. A commercial tractor-trailer driven by Michael Bowman approached stopped traffic nearby on the roadway but failed to reduce its speed. Bowman then swerved sharply onto the shoulder to avoid crashing into the traffic, but instead struck Freyer. The truck then overturned.
Freyer was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. Bowman was reportedly uninjured.
Authorities continue to investigate the incident. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Jeffrey Freyer Accident on I-475 in Toledo
I've seen many incidents in which a pedestrian on or near the interstate was unfortunately, often fatally, struck by an out-of-control vehicle. Sometimes it's because the driver in question was impaired, while other times the vehicle had some kind of brake or mechanical failure that kept it from stopping. One of the most common reasons a driver has to veer off-course like this, though, is because he or she was distracted until it was too late to stop.
I'm not saying what caused caused the truck driver in Toledo to be unable to stop for traffic; it could be one of the issues I mentioned above, or it could be something else entirely. All I know is the matter bears careful investigation because without successfully identifying the cause and proving it with sufficient evidence, there is abundant room for excuses and justifications to start flying.
Long experience has taught me that trucking companies are rarely keen to admit liability or do the right thing for victims and their loved ones after an incident like this. Often it's necessary to do some "convincing" in the form of accumulating clear proof and holding them accountable via a jury. That's why I caution against thinking this matter would be simple to resolve if pursued. Are authorities willing to dig deep and locate all the needed facts of the matter, or would the victim's family be best served by their own separate investigation with the help of an independent accident reconstructionist?