• April 29, 2022

Two Injured in Truck Overturn Accident on Route 243 in Grant County, WA

Grant County, WA -- April 28, 2022, two people were injured when a tractor-trailer overturned on State Route 243 in Grant County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 7:00 a.m. on Route 243 along the Columbia River. Preliminary investigation suggests a commercial truck loaded with apples was traveling south on the highway when the driver drifted left, possibly while distracted. The truck's left tires exited the roadway and the driver reportedly over-corrected, causing the truck to turn broadside and then tip over. It came to rest partially on its roof blocking the roadway in both directions.

The truck's 27-year-old driver and its 37-year-old passenger were airlifted from the scene to an area hospital for treatment of seriously but non-life-threatening injuries.

The investigation continues, but driver distraction is suspected as the likely cause of the crash. Impairment is not believed to be a factor.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Truck Accident on Route 243 in Grant County

Folks tend to jump to conclusions after solo truck accidents, assuming that the driver fell asleep at the wheel or was using their phone when they ran off the road. Even police seem to think the driver was distracted by something at the time, but they should still consider other possible explanations to be sure they have the full story. Mechanical issues in the truck, road hazards or improper design, or driver medical emergencies can't be ruled out without a proper investigation. It's important not to point any fingers prematurely and afford the driver the benefit of the doubt while other possibilities are explored.

Of course, part of looking at any accident is considering what happens afterward. Depending on what's learned about the WA-243 crash the driver will probably receive some assistance in recovering from their state's workers' compensation program. However, the same might not be true for the truck's passenger.

Two Injured in Truck Overturn Accident on Route 243 in Grant County, WA

Investigators must learn why the passenger was in the truck that day. If he was a fellow employee and were working at the time, he may be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits as well. However, if he was simply along for the ride--a friend, family member, or even just a hitchhiker--and not employed by the driver's company, then he may have grounds to seek damages from that company the same as if he'd been hit by the truck while outside of it.

In some cases workers' comp might not apply even if the passenger was a company employee--for instance, if he wasn't officially "on the clock," doing something else in his off-time or napping in the truck's sleeper berth. If he was technically off the clock by the employer's standards, he may still have a viable injury claim against the company.

Despite appearances, I don't bring all that up just to find someone to sue. I'm just saying that commercial truck accidents are rarely simple and they usually have far-reaching implications that aren't always recognized at first. All their particulars must be learned through careful investigation. That typically requires efforts from independent accident reconstructionists who have the experience and equipment to make sure no important details slip through the cracks. Are the authorities in charge of this crash able to offer those resources?


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