• October 04, 2021

Jared Dishong and Passengers Injured in Crash with 18-Wheeler on US-159 in Holt County, MO

Holt County, MO -- October 2, 2021, four people were injured when an SUV and a tractor-trailer collided on U.S. Highway 159 in Holt County.

Authorities say the incident happened early Saturday evening on US-159, roughly four miles east of Fortescue. Preliminary investigation suggests 25-year-old Nathan Hayes was driving a Peterbilt tractor-trailer south on the roadway ahead of a GMC SUV driven by 29-year-old Jared Dishong. Reports say the truck began slowing to make a left turn and Dishong changed lanes to overtake it. As the SUV began to pass by the semi-trailer it collided with the driver's side of the truck's cab.

Dishong and three passengers in the SUV--38-year-old Chrystyna McClure and two children--were transported to a Falls City hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Jared Dishong Accident on US-159 in Holt County

Reports seem to suggest the victim tried to overtake a turning commercial truck but didn't quite make it. What they don't seem to know yet is why not. Some may believe the SUV driver simply misjudged the passing maneuver, but without proof of driver error that's not safe to assume. Further elements still need investigation to ensure this accident is correctly understood.

For instance, does this stretch of road have any design flaws or structural issues? How's the lighting in the area? Was there any inclement weather that could have made the road's surface slippery? Were both vehicles in good working condition? Did the truck driver activate his turn signal and gradually slow, or did he abruptly brake and try to steer hard into the turn? Was the victim given ample warning that a turn was coming, or was his "failed passing maneuver" actually an attempt to avoid a suddenly-stopping truck? Did the truck driver check his mirrors before starting the turn? Could he reasonably have seen the SUV was approaching?

Jared Dishong, Passengers Injured in 18-Wheeler Crash on US-159 in Holt County, MO

Some may wonder about the last couple of questions' relevance if the SUV tried to pass a turning truck, but the law dictates that everyone do everything they can to avoid an accident. This is what's called reasonable prudence, and it's expected of all drivers that they show it whenever they're at the wheel. That means hands on the wheel, eyes and attention focused on the road and your immediate surroundings, seat belts fastened, et cetera. That standard is actually raised for professional drivers given their specialized training, meaning that while the truck driver may have had the right to turn, he was still obligated to be sure he could do so as safely as possible without hitting anyone.

These and many other matters deserve careful scrutiny, but occasionally I wonder if police really dig deeply enough to answer them. They already seem to have a narrative in mind and when conclusions are prematurely reached, confirmation bias means only finding the evidence that supports those conclusions. I've lost count of the crashes I've seen where our investigators found crucial details missed by law enforcement, who were only looking for details that confirmed what they already believed.

It could be that further careful investigation will simply support the story already put out in the news, but several people were hurt here. They deserve to know that no stone was left unturned in an effort to find the whole truth. If any further steps were deemed necessary, that would largely depend on investigators' findings.

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