Katelyn Maree Killam, 1 Injured in 18-wheeler Accident in Callahan, TX
Callahan, TX -- November 19, 2021, Katelyn Maree Killam and another person were injured following an accident where their vehicle hit an 18-wheeler.
Authorities reported that the crash took place at around 9:46 p.m. along I-20 near mile marker 296.
According to officials, 24-year-old Katelyn Maree Killam was a passenger in a Hyundai Accent traveling westbound along the interstate. The driver was reportedly fatigued and fell asleep before crashed into the back of an 18-wheeler that was merging from an on-ramp. The vehicle then ran onto the median.
Killam had incapacitating injuries due to the crash. The driver of the Hyundai had possible injuries, as well. Right now, additional details are unavailable.
Commentary on Katelyn Maree Killam 18-wheeler Accident in Callahan
Crashes like this one raise some concerns. Something one learns dealing with hundreds of commercial vehicle wrecks over 30 years is that there's almost no such thing as a one-sided crash. Here, reports say that the car driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit the 18-wheeler. I have absolutely no reason to doubt that. However, my concern is that investigators simply stopped there. What if that wasn't the only factor leading to someone suffering serious injuries?
Anytime I see a crash where someone crashes with a vehicle merging onto the interstate, it's crucial to pinpoint the exact timing of these things. If someone merges onto the highway, begins getting up to speed, and they're clearly visible and avoidable, then obviously they wouldn't likely be responsible for someone crashing into them. However, if evidence actually shows that vehicle did not yield properly and entered someone's path with little room to spare going at a dangerously slow speed, then someone hitting may not be completely responsible, even if they also were engaging in negligent behavior.
The reason I bring this up specifically is because it appears that the person who bore the worst of the crash was a passenger in the car. While they have a responsibility to do things like wear their seatbelt, they very rarely can contribute to a crash itself. That's why it's absolutely crucial to find out what all contributed to the crash and to what degree those actions led to the injuries. It could be that the driver did in fact fall asleep and hit an 18-wheeler that was completely avoidable. That seems to be the most likely explanation. While far less likely, it could be that the driver fell asleep, and coincidentally an 18-wheeler cut them off. It could also be that there are extenuating circumstances the authorities completely overlooked.
My goal is not to sit here and jump to conclusions. Quite the opposite, it's important that people understand why these preliminary reports may not be telling the whole story. Making sure experienced accident reconstructionists look into the crash as soon as possible is key in making sure folks have every possible opportunity to get the help they need.