• January 31, 2022

Norman Barnes Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident on AL-24 in Lawrence County

Lawrence County, AL -- January 27, 2022, 49-year-old Norman Barnes was killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer on State Highway 24 in Lawrence County.

Authorities say the incident happened Thursday on AL-24 near mile marker 60, roughly eight miles east of Moulton. Preliminary investigation suggests only that Barnes was driving a Chevrolet pickup truck on the roadway when he collided under unknown circumstances with a commercial 18-wheeler driven by 35-year-old Bobby Gladney Jr.

Barnes suffered fatal injuries in the collision. No other injuries were reported.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Norman Barnes Accident on AL-24 in Lawrence County

Currently news sources can only say that a collision occurred and someone tragically suffered fatal injuries because of it. I'm not coming down on anyone for not having more answers so soon after the accident, but that means reports are frustratingly vague right now. I hope investigators are hard at work filling in more blanks and will release more information in the near future, but in the meantime I discourage deciding what happened for one's self.

Police are still working to figure out what even happened on the freeway and have a long way to go before saying who or what is to blame. To find answers to both those questions, they must still look into many potential factors: Common driver mistakes like distraction or speeding, certainly, but also defects or mechanical problems within the vehicles themselves, road conditions and design, visibility, lighting and sightlines, inclement weather, other traffic in the area, and many other elements that could have influenced or even caused the collision.

Norman Barnes Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident on AL-24 in Lawrence County

In the meantime making assumptions isn't a good idea. I've seen too many cases where people rushed to judgment after reading the few details in an early news release, only for information to come to light that completely changed their minds. The same thing could happen here, though it's also possible a standard police investigation might not explain things as much as one would hope.

After a serious accident--particularly one involving a commercial truck--I always suggest an independent investigation to make sure all the facts are found. Whatever is discovered, those affected deserve to know that every effort was made to bring them all the available answers. Any further steps would depend largely on what those answers turn out to be.

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