Teenagers Injured in 18-wheeler Accident on US 79 in Panola County, TX
Panola County, TX -- December 30, 2021, two teenagers were injured after an accident where their vehicle collided with an 18-wheeler on US 79.
Investigators responded to the crash scene at around 10:00 a.m. along US Highway 79 at FM 1970.
Officials said that a 17-year-old was in a Ford Edge traveling eastbound along the highway. At FM 1970, officials said the Ford began to turn left, reportedly failing to yield to an oncoming 18-wheeler. The two vehicles then collided.
The driver and a 14-year-old in the car had injuries resulting from the crash. Police did not give additional details about the crash.
Commentary on 18-wheeler Accident on US 79 in Panola County
These reports seem pretty straight-forward, and no doubt folks will have no problem believing that a teenager would make a mistake behind the wheel. I certainly don't have any specific reason to doubt these reports, but I also don't take reports like this at face value. It's perhaps more worth prudence with younger drivers since people actually have a tendency to assume they did something wrong without having the evidence to prove it.
Authorities are unfortunately susceptible to this bias, as well, which can lead to reports like this representing not a solid foundation of evidence but rather what an officer's gut told them likely happened. Like I said, I'm not saying this to excuse anyone or to blame anyone. I don't know what happened here, and independent investigations could show that these reports are 100% right. But given the hundreds of incomplete and inaccurate reports I've seen throughout my career, and given that its a couple of kids who need help here, it shouldn't be too unreasonable to make sure all the facts are straight before folks start jumping to conclusions.