• October 11, 2021

Teen Driver Killed in Crash with 18-Wheeler on McElroy Rd near Melba, ID

Melba, ID -- October 8, 2021, a teenaged driver was killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer along McElroy Road near Melba.

Authorities say the incident happened around 3:20 p.m. at McElroy and Can Ada roads. Preliminary investigation suggests an 84-year-old man was driving a commercial 18-wheeler east on McElroy when he reportedly failed to yield when turning north (left) onto Can Ada. The truck collided with the victim's Volkswagen Jetta in the intersection.

The teen driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Sources indicate they were wearing a seat belt at the time. The truck driver was reportedly unhurt.

The investigation is currently ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on 18-Wheeler Accident on McElroy Rd near Melba

These reports seem fairly clear about who's to blame for the crash; if the truck driver failed to yield while making a turn, what else is there to know?

I often have to caution people who contact the firm against thinking a commercial truck accident is ever that simple. Even if reports suggest the truck driver was to blame the victim's family is likely to face difficulties if they choose to seek help from the company. The unfortunate truth is that most trucking firms will fight hard against any suggestion of wrongdoing no matter what common sense or preliminary reports might say. Some of their arguments can take victims by surprise.

Teen Driver Killed in Crash with 18-Wheeler on McElroy Rd near Melba, ID

Not long ago I worked on a crash where an 18-wheeler pulled out of a parking lot into a car's path, resulting in a fatal collision. Police reports said the truck driver was to blame, and the victim's family thought that was enough for the company to admit fault. When they approached the firm about making things right, though, they were shocked as its attorneys told them the victim was actually to blame for his own injuries. The company didn't deny its driver failed to yield, but claimed the victim was speeding and not wearing a seat belt--the combination of which was the proximate cause of his death. That was heartless, obviously, but it fell to the family to prove it was also untrue. They reached out to us to help them do just that.

Our independent accident reconstructionists analyzed debris patterns, tire markings, electronic data from the vehicle, and other details from that crash and proved the victim wasn't speeding at the time. Additionally, we spoke with the ambulance crews that worked to save his life and all of them agreed they had to cut through his fastened seat belt before they could get him out of the car. Armed with that evidence we refuted the trucking company's arguments, and after a few more attempts to deflect liability it finally cooperated.

The Idaho crash isn't identical to that other one, but one thing that's almost universal after commercial vehicle wrecks is that victims must be ready for the company and its insurer to dispute liability as much and as long as possible. They need to bring the right tools and plenty of clear evidence to overcome those arguments. Police and news reports, no matter how seemingly clear, typically aren't enough. So will steps be taken here to ensure that the whole truth is uncovered?

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