• January 28, 2022

David Morgan Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident on I-40 West in Knoxville, TN

UPDATE (February 1, 2022): The victim of this accident has been identified as 57-year-old David Joseph Morgan.

Knoxville, TN -- January 27, 2022, one person was killed when a minivan and a tractor-trailer collided on Interstate 40 West in Knoxville.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 10:00 p.m. on I-40 West at Strawberry Plains Pike. Preliminary investigation suggests two minivans collided in the roadway and one of the vans stopped in the center lane. A few minutes later a commercial 18-wheeler crashed into the stopped van, causing both vehicles to swerve into the median.

The minivan driver was ejected during the collision and was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was unhurt.

The investigation continues as police search for the driver of the other minivan involved in the preliminary crash.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on David Morgan Accident on I-40 West in Knoxville

A key factor in crashes like this one is timing. How much time lapsed between when the minivan stopped in the roadway and when the big rig hit it?

If news reports are right and a few minutes passed between the two events then I can't help but wonder if there really was nothing the truck driver could have done to avoid it. I've litigated many cases where a driver maintained he had neither time nor room to maneuver away, but with a gap of up to five minutes between the two collisions couldn't some kind of evasive action have happened?

Closer analysis of a crash scene often show there was more room or time than initially thought and the truck driver simply wasn't watching the road when he needed to react, or was speeding and thus closed the gap too quickly to stop. Crashes caused by unavoidable circumstances and those caused by driver negligence often look the same, so it's very important to be sure which is the true explanation as the law would approach them quite differently.

So far there still seem to be some lingering questions about everything that happened on I-40. Police have a rough picture of events but don't have all the details that could make a great deal of difference. Why and how did the two minivans collide in the first place? Why did the second van leave the scene? How far away was the 18-wheeler when the initial crash happened and how fast was it traveling? Was the truck driver's full attention on the road ahead, or could they have been distracted by a phone or something else? What's visibility like in that area? How about road conditions?

Tragically the victim is unable to provide their side of the story so we can't know if it would align with the truck driver's. All we can say right now as investigators work to connect the dots is that someone was fatally injured. Their loved ones deserve to know that every effort will be made to get the full story and the facts proving it. That will most likely require far more thorough investigations than the ones reported in the news. Once experienced accident reconstructionists look into this, it can be better determined how avoidable it was and whether any further steps should be taken.

David Morgan Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident on I-40 West in Knoxville, TN

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