Lyudmila Cushing Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident on Route 7 in Addison County, VT
Addison County, VT -- March 15, 2022, 69-year-old Lyudmila Cushing was killed in a collision with a commercial truck on Route 7 in Addison County.
Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 3:25 p.m. at the intersection of Route 7 and Leicester Whiting Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Cushing was driving a Honda CRV east on Leicester Whiting Road when she approached Route 7 and allegedly failed to enter it safely. After passing into the highway's travel lanes the Honda was hit by a Kenworth tractor-trailer driven by 59-year-old Norman Arnold.
Cushing suffered fatal injuries in the collision. Arnold was reportedly unhurt.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Lyudmila Cushing Accident on Route 7 in Addison County
If the details in preliminary reports are accurate it's not clear why the victim might have failed to yield to the passing truck, but before anyone concludes that she just made a mistake it's important to account for other potential explanations. That means learning as many details as possible, including the following:
Could the victim's SUV have had some kind of mechanical or brake problem that kept her from stopping? What about any health problems that might have incapacitated her? Could something have obstructed her view of the approaching semi-truck? Was signage covered, blocked, or missing at the intersection? Were there any other vehicles around at the time? Could bad weather or hazardous road conditions have played a part? Does that area have any history of similar crashes? Is the intersection designed poorly? Ignoring right-of-way for a moment, could the truck driver have done anything differently to avoid the collision or reduce its damage?
I'm not trying to overcomplicate this matter, nor do I want to unfairly blame anyone. I just want to make sure all the variables are known as they should be after any accident. Without looking into all the possibilities no one can be certain why things happened the way they did. Unusual elements contribute to accidents all the time, but slip through the cracks during a "by the book" investigation.
We even saw a recent incident in West Texas where a person allegedly ran a stop sign and fatally crashed with an 18-wheeler, only for us to find out later that road crews actually removed the signs there during construction and didn't put them back. The victim didn't even know he had to stop, but until that fact came to light police and the public unfairly blamed him for a crash beyond his control.
It's pretty rare for stop signs to go missing, but my point is just that many crashes aren't as simple as they might appear and subtle-but-crucial details are often overlooked or misunderstood. The victim's loved ones deserve know that every effort was made to find the whole truth; will police be as thorough as is needed to get it, or would an independent investigator stand a better chance of learning all the facts?