One Injured in 18-Wheeler Accident on Interstate 90 in Missoula, MT
Missoula, MT -- May 5, 2022, one person was injured in a collision with an out-of-control semi-truck on Interstate 90 in Missoula.
Authorities say the incident happened around 1:30 p.m. on I-90 near North Reserve Street. Preliminary investigation suggests a commercial truck was traveling east on the highway when the driver lost control for unknown reasons. The truck drove into the median in a southward curve, then crossed into the westbound lanes where it hit a car. It then continued onward and crashed through a fence, then hit several more vehicles and two storage containers in a Cracker Barrel parking lot.
The westbound car hit by the truck in the road overturned; its driver was transported from the scene for treatment of unknown injuries. The truck driver was unhurt.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Truck Accident on I-89 in Missoula
Learning the primary cause for the truck leaving its lane and all the chaos that followed is more important than some may think. Obviously it would be helpful in better understanding the wreck, but it's also crucial information for helping the injured victim get the help they deserve.
People who've never crashed with a big rig probably aren't aware of how hard it can be to make the truck driver and his employer accept responsibility for that. The default position of just about every trucking company is to deny responsibility for damage its employees do, because under the legal principle of respondeat superior ("let the master answer") they're liable for that damage as well. They have assets and reputations to protect, so most of them will bitterly dispute liability and drag things out as long as they can rather than simply help the people injured by their drivers.
That's why it's crucial to find out what sent the driver off the road. On the one hand it might have been a simple matter of reckless choices, like watching a phone or tablet instead of the road or speeding dangerously through the curve and losing control. However, it could also have been a matter of unpredictable mechanical issues in the truck or unsafe road conditions or design. The end result might look the same in any of those cases, but finding out the starting conditions would make a world of difference.
To really pin that information down would probably require going over the whole crash from start to finish with a fine-toothed comb, though, and police don't always have the time or inclination to do that. It's understandable they have a lot of warring priorities, but their "good enough" approach to crash investigation also means that injured victims don't end up with sufficient information to get the help they need by the end. If they feel the trucking company should make good for the damage its employee did, they're probably better off working with independent investigators who have the know-how and the equipment needed to properly analyze the crash and find answers. Armed with the clear evidence those professionals uncover, victims and families often stand a much better chance of seeing justice done.