• April 15, 2022

Syed Ullah Killed, Four Injured in Crash with 18-Wheeler on Route 36 near Mount Morris, NY

Mount Morris, NY -- April 13, 2022, 58-year-old Syed Ullah was killed and four people were injured when an SUV collided with a semi-truck near Mount Morris.

Authorities say the incident happened Wednesday morning on Route 36 near Perry Road, just north of town in Livingston County. Preliminary investigation suggests 65-year-old Abu Karim was driving an SUV north on the highway when he allegedly turned into the path of a southbound big rig near Perry Road. The truck hit the turning SUV, pushing it into another vehicle that was stopped at the nearby intersection.

Two of the passengers in the SUV, Syed Ullah and 47-year-old Chowdhury Mujahid, were ejected during the crash. Ullah was pronounced dead at the scene and Mujahid was rushed to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Karim and two other passengers were also hospitalized for treatment of minor injuries. The drivers of the semi-truck and the third vehicle were unhurt.

The crash remains under investigation. No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Syed Ullah et al Accident on Route 36 in Mount Morris

I often mention the importance of keeping an open mind after a crash, no matter what early assessments say. Some roll their eyes at that, but I wouldn't be so wary of preliminary reports if I hadn't seen them overlook or omit crucial details so many times. There are instances where independent experts look into a crash and only confirm what early reports said, but we've also seen plenty of cases where their superior training and equipment turned up crucial information that police missed--things that completely changed how the crash was perceived.

Syed Ullah Killed, Four Injured in Crash with 18-Wheeler on Route 36 near Mount Morris, NY

For instance, the crash in New York is described as though the SUV driver made an ill-timed turn into the path of the truck. There isn't really much insight into why that might have happened, though, as an oncoming big rig isn't the sort of thing one just overlooks in general. Was the driver distracted by something in that moment? Is the point where he was turning affected by any limited sightlines, such as being at the top of a hill? How far away was the truck when the victim started to turn, and how fast was it moving? Was there any other traffic in the area? What was weather like? What about road conditions? Was the van in a state of good repair?

It's important not to simply blame the victim for a bad turn and call it a day without being sure all the facts are in. I'm not saying bad weather or a malfunctioning SUV are necessarily responsible for the crash, but I think it would take further careful investigation before anyone could say the whole story is known. If there are any questions about the "official" findings (there often are), then the victims may be better served by independent investigations to determine the whole truth of the matter.

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