• April 22, 2022

Cindi Perdue Killed in Truck Accident on US-34 in York County, NE

York County, NE -- April 21, 2022, 61-year-old Cindi Perdue was killed in a three-vehicle collision at County Road F and U.S. Highway 34 in York County.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 8:00 a.m. at the roads' crossing, roughly a mile east of Bradshaw. Preliminary investigation suggests Perdue was in a southbound van on County Road F when she stopped at the posted sign at US-34. Reports indicate she proceeded forward and crashed with a pickup truck driven by 24-year-old Adriana Gasper. Shortly after that collision a commercial semi-truck approached on the highway and crashed into the van.

Perdue suffered fatal injuries in the crash. No other injuries were reported.

According to investigators the area was covered in heavy fog at the time, reducing visibility to almost zero.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Cindi Perdue Accident on US-34 in York County

It's not clear what went wrong here, though authorities did mention severely limited visibility in the area at the time. They're certainly not wrong in asking folks to be more careful when they can't see more than a few feet ahead; in fact, that may have more to do with these wrecks than the actual fog.

Generally speaking people know at least academically to slow down and drive more carefully in adverse weather. However, knowing that and actually doing it are two separate things. Wrecks in heavy fog, snowstorms, or other situations causing serious reductions in visibility tend to happen because one or more drivers don't properly compensate for conditions. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone specific in the Nebraska crash, but rather noting that it may not be accurate to just blame the fog instead of considering how people interacted with it.

Cindi Perdue Killed in Truck Accident on US-34 in York County, NE

I'm not saying heavy fog isn't serious or that it wasn't a big factor in what happened on US-34. My point is more that weather alone doesn't cause wrecks like this--what people do (or fail to do) in it is the real issue. That's particularly true for commercial truck drivers, who are required by federal law to slow down or even stop if they can't safely operate in hazardous conditions. It's already bad when a van or pickup loses visibility and crashes at highway speeds, but a 40-ton truck plowing into them often has devastating results as demonstrated in York County.

Despite the overlooked human element in these matters, readers and investigators alike too often shrug and blame weather when asked about these crashes. Insurance companies are also more than happy to throw Mother Nature under the bus as the true culprit rather than admit their policyholders made mistakes (particularly for million-dollar commercial truck policies). That may not be a big deal when two cars get in a mild fender-bender in the fog, but when a life is taken on a major freeway it's not unreasonable to want to know exactly how that could have happened and who (if anyone) should be held accountable.

Taking steps to keep the story on track is crucial for getting folks the help they deserve, so the question is whether the authorities will just rubber-stamp "fog" on this crash and move on after clearing the road. If so, finding the whole truth of the matter may require a closer look from independent investigators.

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