Lakenya Shorter Killed in Truck Accident on Highway 18 in Claiborne County, MS
Claiborne County, MS -- May 18, 2022, 28-year-old Lakenya Shorter was killed in a collision with a log truck on State Highway 18 in Claiborne County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 12:20 p.m. on MS-18 at Valley Moon Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Shorter was driving a Nissan Altima south on Valley Moon when they collided under unknown circumstances with a Winstar log truck that was headed west on the highway.
Shorter was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.
The crash remains under investigation. No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Lakenya Shorter Accident on MS-18 in Claiborne County
Images of the intersection show that traffic on Valley Moon Road has a stop sign and is meant to yield to vehicles on Highway 18. Reports don't specifically say the victim failed to yield at the intersection, but if their vehicle ended up in the path of an oncoming big rig that seems like the most logical explanation. That still doesn't clarify why such a thing might have happened, but before anyone starts blaming the victim for making a mistake it's important to consider other potential explanations.
For example: Could the Nissan have had some kind of mechanical or brake problem? What about any health problems that might have incapacitated the driver? Could something have blocked her view of the log truck? Was signage covered or missing at the intersection? Were there any other vehicles around at the time? Could bad weather or hazardous road conditions have been a factor? Does that area have a history of similar crashes? Is the intersection designed poorly? Ignoring right-of-way for a moment, could the truck driver have done anything differently to avoid the collision or reduce its damage?
I'm not trying to overcomplicate things or unfairly blame anyone. I just want to make sure all the details are known as they should be after any accident. Unusual elements contribute to accidents all the time but too often they slip through the cracks during a routine police investigation. We even saw a recent incident in West Texas where a person allegedly ran a stop sign and fatally crashed with an 18-wheeler, only for us to find out later that TxDOT road crews removed the signs during construction and didn't put them back. The victim didn't even know he had to stop there, but until that fact came to light police reports unfairly blamed him.
It's pretty unlikely the same thing happened in Mississippi as stop signs rarely go missing like that. The point is more that many crashes aren't as simple as they might appear and crucial details are often overlooked or misunderstood. The victim deserves the benefit of the doubt and her loved ones should know every effort was made to find the whole truth. Will police be thorough enough to get it, or would an independent investigation do a better job?