Arden Martinie Injured in 18-Wheeler Accident on 52nd Rd in Cowley County, KS
Cowley County, KS -- October 7, 2021, driver Arden Martinie was seriously injured in a collision with a parked tractor-trailer on 52nd Road in Cowley County.
Authorities say the incident happened just after 5:00 p.m. on the 13000 block of 52nd Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Martinie was driving a Pontiac vehicle east on the roadway when he collided with a legally parked farm semi-trailer under unknown circumstances.
Martinie suffered severe injuries in the collision and was transported to a Wichita hospital. No other injuries were reported.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Arden Martinie Accident on 52nd Rd in Cowley County
I talk frequently on this blog about how one-sided people believe crashes like this are. The common feeling is that a parked vehicle can't be responsible if a moving vehicle hits it, but fault is not necessarily an all-or-nothing proposition. While it's clearly important to find out why the victim hit the truck, it's also necessary to find out whether the truck driver had the right to park where he did in the first place. The law has some pretty specific views on why and how a big rig can take up space on the roadside.
News reports about this crash say the truck driver parked legally, and I have no reason to doubt that. However, there's a certain amount of ambiguity there which I feel should be addressed to ensure the driver did everything he or she was legally required to do when stopping on or by a public roadway. In such cases they're supposed to put out high-visibility cones, reflectors or flares at intervals behind the trailer to a distance of at least 150 feet to warn approaching motorists so they can stop or steer clear. Moreover, federal law says commercial trucks are only allowed to stop on the roadside for emergencies.
It's unclear whether the driver in this instance used visibility devices or what their purpose in stopping there might have been, but it seems like further investigation should be conducted to answer those important questions before anyone tries to point fingers. The bottom line is that virtually no one is automatically at fault or blame-free after an accident. The question is really what exact role each element (parked truck, potentially-reckless victim, weather, road conditions, other traffic, etc) had in the crash and its resulting injuries. There likely needs to be a thorough examination by an independent accident reconstructionist to learn this wreck's subtler details and if its damage could reasonably have been reduced or even avoided altogether.