• May 02, 2022

Richard Roberts Killed in Truck Accident on I-85 in Montgomery County, AL

Montgomery County, AL -- April 29, 2022, 63-year-old Richard Roberts was killed when his box truck collided with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 85 in Montgomery County.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly after 9:00 a.m. on I-85, roughly five miles east of Montgomery. Preliminary investigation suggests only that Roberts was driving a box truck on the roadway when he collided with the back of an 18-wheeler.

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

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Richard Roberts Accident on I-85 in Montgomery County

Over my career I've run into a lot of folks who think that a rear-end collision is always the fault of the rear driver, no matter what. In many cases it's eventually found that driver made a mistake, but it's not as automatic as some people believe. The law looks at the greater context of the accident and considers its possible contributing factors, as well as whether the damage could reasonably have been avoided or mitigated.

Other elements to investigate (rather than just pinning the blame on the victim) might include both trucks' speeds at the time of the collision, whether the rear driver was distracted, if the 18-wheeler stopped or slowed suddenly ahead, any issues with visibility or road conditions at the time, what other nearby vehicles were doing, and many other details. That kind of careful investigation is really necessary after just about any crash, but particularly in cases where commercial vehicles collide. Professional truck drivers' employers are rarely interested in accepting liability without a fight, so when two of them crash there may be some significant arguments about who's really to blame for the damage done. All that back-and-forth while the companies protect their interests can sometimes mean the victim's loved ones are left in the cold waiting for someone to help them.

Richard Roberts Killed in Truck Accident on I-85 in Montgomery County, AL

News reports paint a pretty one-sided picture here, even with only the vague details they had at press time. Hopefully investigators will take the time and care needed to learn the whole story and further developments (or corrections) will be available in the near future. However, with a plausible chain of events already figured out police may not spend much time looking for different explanations. I feel that many additional factors beyond "who hit whom" must be accounted for after a collision like this, which is why an independent investigation may be necessary to fill in the remaining blanks.

People read about someone rear-ending a truck and think "case closed," but without looking at all the possible issues the job isn't complete. The people affected by this accident deserve to know the whole story.

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