• January 21, 2022

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.

Teenagers Injured 18-wheeler Accident US 79 fm 1970 Panola County, TX

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.

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