• May 10, 2022

William Dixon Jr., Lori Courtney Killed in Truck Accident on I-20 in Abilene, TX

Abilene, TX -- May 9, 2022, 65-year-old William Dixon Jr. and 57-year-old Lori Courtney were killed in a truck accident on Interstate 20 in Abilene.

Authorities say the incident happened around 4:00 p.m. on I-20 near mile marker 292. Preliminary investigation suggests 43-year-old Freddie Brown Jr. was driving a Freightliner tractor-trailer west on the interstate when he lost control for unknown reasons. The truck veered through the median and entered the eastbound lanes where it crashed into an eastbound GMC pickup driven by Dixon.

Dixon and Courtney both suffered fatal injuries in the crash, as did two pets in the pickup. Brown received critical injuries and was transported to an area hospital.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on William Dixon, Lori Courtney Accident on I-20 in Abilene

News reports seem pretty straightforward about where fault should lie after this terrible incident. If they have their facts straight it seems like the truck driver triggered the wreck by crossing into oncoming traffic. Surely that's clear enough that there's little to no room for interpretation...right?

Not quite. People who haven't crashed with a big rig probably don't realize how tough it is to get a trucking company to admit fault, no matter what early reports may say. Their default position tends to be that their driver (and by extension they themselves) did nothing wrong. To prove that to a jury the company or its insurer sends out private investigators to find ways to bend the story so something--anything--else was actually to blame for the damage done.

The culprit might be sun glare in the driver's eyes, a sudden and mysterious part failure in the big rig, or depending on circumstances even the victims themselves. I've seen plenty of cases where the company admitted their driver crossed over but the victim used "faulty evasive maneuvers" and should have gotten out of the way. That's cold-blooded but the defense isn't shy about pointing fingers where they must to get their clients off the hook.

William Dixon Jr., Lori Courtney Killed in Truck Accident on I-20 in Abilene, TX

It tends to fall to the injured victims or their families to gather the necessary proof showing what happened--a tall order in a time when they're still dealing with its aftermath. To ensure they have what they need not to have a story spun against them, I often recommend they work with independent investigators who have the training and tools needed to find critical proof.

People call the firm all the time after serious accidents just trying to figure out what they should do first. I typically suggest the same things: Once the extent of the damage is known (and it's unfortunately quite clear after a fatal crash), talk to someone about an investigation on their behalf. Armed with the evidence a seasoned accident reconstructionist finds and a solid case built on facts, many victims and their families are able to successfully get the help they need and deserve.

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