Baby Killed, Katanni Senegal, Chassity Gantt, Injured in 18-wheeler Accident in Canton, TX
Canton, TX -- January 12, 2022, a baby was killed and Katanni Senegal and Chassity Gantt were injured due to an accident where an 18-wheeler hit their car.
Authorities reported that the crash took place at around 12:30 p.m. along I-20 in the Canton area.
Officials said that 22-year-old Chassity Gantt was in a vehicle traveling along the westbound lanes of the interstate. While doing so, an 18-wheeler somehow failed to slow down, reports say, crashing into Gantt's vehicle.
Due to the collision, a baby in Gantt's vehicle suffered fatal injuries. A two-year-old reportedly sustained critical injuries. Gantt was treated at the scene while another adult passenger, 22-year-old Katanni Senegal, had reportedly incapacitating injuries. The victims were said to be from San Francisco and Fresno, California.
Right now, it's unclear if authorities plan to file charges. Investigations are ongoing at this time.
Commentary on Chassity Gantt, Katanni Senegal 18-wheeler Accident in Canton
Despite 30 years of experience and hundreds of commercial vehicle wreck cases, it never gets easier to read details like these. The fact that a child lost their life is heartbreaking enough. The crash apparently being the result of some truck driver failing to slow down only makes it more blood boiling. How did this awful tragedy happen? Why didn't the truck driver slow down? Most folks will assume the driver was speeding, following too closely, or on their phone. Those are certainly the most likely explanations. However, it's important to conduct thorough investigations to find out for sure. For one, this could be that one-in-a-million crash where factors beyond the truck driver's control led to the crash. Alternatively, though, getting justice for a grieving family may require a lot more than simply throwing the book at a single truck driver.
The reason I say this is because I've had plenty of crashes come across my desk where even a truck driver making a mistake was not the whole story. For example, I had a crash a while back where a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel after driving for 20 hours straight, causing a devastating wreck. That was an obvious mistake, and there was no way to excuse that kind of behavior. But I wondered if we could explain it. As we kept digging, it turned out that the truck driver was trying to meet a ludicrous deadline set by his employer. Therein lied the real problem.
That particular company would routinely put lives at risk by constantly demanding drivers meet unreasonable deadlines. Those deadlines all but reequired drivers to cut corners, drive recklessly, and otherwise break the rules for the sake of expediency. If they failed to do so, they risked losing their jobs. Obviously some drivers would see the writing on the wall and hightail it out of there to look for a safer place to work. Others, however, naturally prioritized putting food on their family's table and did anything they could to appease their bosses. In other words, it was inevitable that someone would get hurt.
So why do I bring this up? Well, after reports like these, folks rightfully call for there to be accountability. You can't take the life of a baby and just get away with it. But at the same time, we in the public don't want just some slap on the wrist consequence. It's important to ensure the consequences are as significant as possible. So if it came out that a truck driver made a mistake because their company routinely engaged in reckless behavior that would continue putting others at risk, would it truly be just to take the first resolution possible and call it a day? Or, would it be crucial to investigate those issues thoroughly, call attention to them, and use that evidence to make sure all parties were held fully accountable for their actions. As a father, the answer is pretty clear. I'm sure other folks will agree that in a situation like this steps must be taken to make things as right as possible. That means making sure there is no question about who and what robbed a family of someone most dear to them.