• April 26, 2022

One Killed in 18-Wheeler Crossover Accident on FL-710 in Martin County

Martin County, FL -- April 25, 2022, a 22-year-old Indiantown woman was killed when an 18-wheeler crossed the center line and hit her on State Route 710 in Martin County.

Authorities say the incident happened Monday along Route 710 near Southwest Martin Highway, close to the Okeechobee County line. Preliminary investigation suggests a commercial tractor-trailer was traveling south on the roadway when the 44-year-old driver lost control for unknown reasons. The truck drifted left of center into the northbound lanes, where it collided with the victim's SUV. After the impact both vehicles veered onto the northbound shoulder and they were still nose-to-nose when emergency responders arrived.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on 18-Wheeler Crossover Accident on FL-710 in Martin County

Readers may see this all happened because an 18-wheeler crossed over the center line and assume that the truck driver will automatically be held responsible for the crash. Fault can almost never be "automatically" assigned in that manner, however, and commercial trucking companies know how to use that to their advantage. That's why it's critical to find every available scrap of evidence to learn the true story of what happened.

Here's an example of why every detail must be accounted for: I once worked on a case where a commercial truck hit the victim's car almost head-on at night, causing fatal injuries. It seemed obvious that the truck driver crossed over and caused the crash, but his employer insisted he wasn't to blame. They told the jury their driver couldn't see the victim's car because it had no headlights--not that they weren't activated, mind you, but that the physical light bulbs weren't even in it.

One Killed in 18-Wheeler Crossover Accident on FL-710 in Martin County

Obviously that seemed absurd so we went to where the vehicle was stored and looked for ourselves. Sure enough, the headlights had no bulbs. Our inspectors noticed fresh scratch marks around the sockets, though, which was definitely fishy. The facility's check-in logs showed the defense team was there not long before us, and we learned from security footage they actually brought hand tools and removed the lights themselves, all to reinforce their invented story and dodge responsibility.

If that seems crazy I absolutely agree, but it really happened. Not every defense attorney is desperate enough to tamper with evidence, but that story is an example of why careful and thorough investigation must always be conducted in situations where it's possible to introduce any doubt about fault. Trucking companies are infamous for disputing it after almost every crash. They have assets and their reputations to protect, and they'll fight like hell unless and until victims and their families show enough proof that there's no room for debate.

Without uncovering all those subtle-but-crucial details, victims sometimes aren't prepared to fight against the company's claims that road hazards, sun glare, a "mystery car," or something else was to blame when their driver crossed over the line. Even when those arguments make little sense the burden of proving they're wholly untrue falls to the victims. That's why I typically advise people caught in these situations not to lean on news or police reports, which can easily be disputed. Instead I recommend enlisting the aid of experienced accident reconstruction experts with the tools and know-how to find the needed evidence.

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