• January 31, 2022

Rafael Marchan Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident on I-15 in Lake Elsinore, CA

Lake Elsinore, CA -- January 28, 2022, 29-year-old Rafael Marchan was killed in a rear-end collision with a stopped 18-wheeler on Interstate 15 in Lake Elsinore.

Authorities say the incident happened around 9:15 p.m. on the southbound interstate near Franklin Street. Preliminary investigation suggests a commercial 18-wheeler pulled to the shoulder of the freeway when the driver heard an unusual noise from the back of the truck's trailer.

Between 15 and 30 seconds later, Marchan reportedly approached from the north in a Honda Accord. For reasons not yet known he veered onto the shoulder and collided with the back of the big rig at speeds approaching 60 miles per hour. The impact wedged the car beneath the truck's trailer.

Marchan, reportedly wearing his seat belt at the time, was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was uninjured.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Rafael Marchan Accident on I-15 in Lake Elsinore

There are a lot of factors to look into after a crash like this. How the victim's car ran onto the shoulder is probably the one that stands out to most people. What others may overlook, however, is why the truck was on the shoulder to begin with. The news says the driver pulled over to check on a mysterious sound, but did he have reason to think that was actually urgent enough to pull over?

People don't always know that truck drivers are prohibited from stopping on the shoulder unless they or their vehicles have some kind of disabling emergency. It's unclear how serious that
"unusual noise" might have been and I'm not saying the driver wasn't justified in stopping, but finding out for sure is an important part of the investigation.

Likewise, when a truck stops on the shoulder its driver is required to activate its hazard lights and then put out high-visibility devices like cones or triangles behind it within a few minutes. Reports say only 15-30 seconds lapsed between when the truck stopped and when the car hit it, but were its emergency lights at least on? Some may argue they would have made little difference either way, but their use isn't optional--particularly after sundown.

To be absolutely clear, I'm not making any accusations here. It's quite possible the truck driver did everything right and news reports just didn't get into that aspect of the crash. Moreover, it's still very important to learn why the car's driver might have left the road and hit the truck at all. I'm only saying that it's vital to know every available fact after incidents like this--to make sure they're properly understood, but also to ensure that anyone responsible for a family's devastating loss is held properly accountable. A man lost his life in Lake Elsinore, so it seems like the least investigators can do is learn exactly how that tragedy occurred.

Rafael Marchan Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident on I-15 in Lake Elsinore, CA

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