• August 30, 2021

Pedestrian Killed by 18-Wheeler on US-501 in Horry County, SC

Horry County, SC -- August 30, 2021, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a commercial tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 501 in Horry County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 2:40 a.m. on US-501, roughly three miles north of Conway. Preliminary investigation suggests the 18-wheeler was headed north on the roadway when its trailer somehow struck the pedestrian who was walking on the roadway.

The pedestrian was pronounced dead on the scene. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Fatal Auto-Pedestrian Accident on US-501 in Horry County

When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle on a highway, some people are tempted to write the crash off and blame the victim for being there at all. The highway may sometimes be risky on foot, but that doesn't mean it's open season on anyone walking there. Fortunately the law is far more nuanced than a simple declaration about who is allowed to be where. When assessing a collision like this, prudent investigators must consider how ultimately avoidable it was.

Put simply, all drivers have an obligation to avoid any accident they can. If a reasonably prudent driver doing everything they're supposed to (hands on the wheel, sober, eyes on the road, traveling the speed limit, etc) couldn't have avoided the collision with the victim on Route 501, then it certainly wouldn't be fair to blame them. However, if it's discovered through careful analysis that they reasonably could or should have stopped or steered away from the victim--regardless of who had the right-of-way--then it must be determined why they didn't do so.

Pedestrian Killed by 18-Wheeler on US-501 in Horry County, SC

That standard of care is actually elevated for professional drivers due to their specialized training and licensure. The law requires truck drivers to exercise even more caution on the road and the consequences for not doing so are more serious.

Ultimately I'm only trying to say that this incident, like most crashes, may not be as simple as it first appears. Further investigation is needed to determine exactly where the pedestrian was in relation to the roadway, what they were doing, how visible they were, and whether or not the driver could reasonably have avoided the accident. It's never wise to make assumptions in these matters; even if some explanation seems most likely, it's important to consider all possibilities to get the victim's loved ones the answers and help they deserve.


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