• April 18, 2022

Randy Hance Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident off Chapell Drive in Monett, MO

Monett, MO -- April 15, 2022, 69-year-old Randy Hance was fatally injured when an 18-wheeler hit a parked big rig and him off Chapell Drive in Monett.

Authorities say the incident happened around 7:30 a.m. on private property off Chapell Drive near the Monett city limits. Preliminary investigation suggest 49-year-old Troy Dunlop was reversing a tractor-trailer east on the roadway. His truck reportedly backed into the trailer of Hance's big rig, which was parked nearby as Hance worked on its trailer brakes. Investigators say Hance attempted to get away from the impact site by stepping away from his truck, but was then hit by the reversing truck.

Hance suffered critical injuries and was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. Dunlop was not reported as hurt.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Randy Hance Accident off Chapell Drive in Monett

Some may see the preliminary details of this accident and think there's little else to say. If a reversing truck hit a stopped one and its driver, what more does anyone need to know before deciding who's at fault?

Reasonable though that argument seems on its surface, it's important to realize that few if any commercial truck accidents are truly that simple. People who've never crashed with a big rig probably aren't aware of what kind of battles await the ones that do--even if both parties involved are truck drivers. The default position of essentially every company is to deny responsibility for any damage its employees do, because under the legal principle of respondeat superior ("let the master answer") they're liable for that damage as well. Because they have assets and reputations to protect, most trucking firms will bitterly dispute liability and drag things out as long as they can rather than simply help the victims of their employees' poor choices.

Randy Hance Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident off Chapell Drive in Monett, MO

There's little limit to the creativity a trucking defense attorney will show when trying to find other scapegoats for the damage done in an accident like this. In fact, many of the defense's arguments might revolve around blaming the victim himself for what happened. Suggestions that he was somehow in the reversing driver's blind spot or didn't pay adequate attention to the truck's approach would probably be tried. If it seems crass to blame the victim, well, defense isn't shy about pointing fingers where it must to get its client out of the spotlight.

Folks may think there's not much merit to all this talk of liability and evidence because the victim was a truck driver and more than likely "workers' comp will handle it." It's quite possible his loved ones will be offered some assistance from that, but it's far from a perfect system. People don't always realize that it basically forces workers to subsidize their own injuries. Moreover, its benefits never approach what the employees earned before they were hurt, creating a net loss that can be highly problematic to victims and their families. Furthermore, as a matter of principle the parties responsible for the damage done really should be held accountable and bear its costs.

To make sure the at-fault company can't come up with excuses reasons why their driver's behavior wasn't the cause of this fatal accident, it would fall to the victim's family to gather the necessary proof that it actually was. Police will create a rough sketch of events but often lack the time or resources to dig deeper into the less-obvious details that can make so much difference. A more comprehensive investigation is often needed to make sure all the relevant information is accounted for. Will that be done here?


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