James Williams, Shinreca Brown Killed in Memphis, TN Truck Accident
Memphis, TN — June 2, 2022, James Williams and Shinreca Brown were killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer on Swinnea Road in Memphis.
According to reports the incident happened Thursday on the 3800 block of Swinnea near a private UPS terminal drive. Preliminary investigation suggests truck driver Davon McDonald pulled a Freightliner 18-wheeler left out of the terminal drive into the center turn lane of Swinnea, then stopped and waited for a chance to entered the northbound lane.
Reports indicate part of the Freightliner's trailer was still in the southbound travel lane when it stopped. Williams and Brown approached soon after in a Mercury Marquis and crashed into the part of the trailer that was in their lane.
Both occupants of the Mercury were pronounced dead at the scene. McDonald was unhurt but was charged with failure to yield right of way causing serious injury.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on James Williams, Shinreca Brown Accident on Swinnea Rd in Memphis
It's good to see that police have charged the truck driver for what appears to be a fatal incident of carelessness, but it's important to understand that those charges don't automatically mean the driver's employer has to make things right with the victims' loved ones.
Because the criminal and civil justice systems work on entirely separate tracks, criminal charges against a truck driver don't change the victims' families' obligation to prove his actions were the proximate cause of their loved ones' injuries. Even with the truck driver behind bars, that may be a more challenging task than one may expect.
While the evidence that police and prosecutors gather to prove their criminal case against a driver may be useful, and any attorney worth his salt will certainly take the steps required to obtain them, they're unlikely to be enough on their own to prove the driver's negligence was the real cause of the victims' injuries.
The trucking company is likely to argue that something else--bad road conditions, poor visibility, or even the victims' "faulty evasive maneuvers"--were more to blame. Ensuring those arguments don't work often takes independent investigations by an experienced accident reconstructionist, subpoenas for any records and other evidence in the trucking company's possession, and a strong case built on all that.
Although the obstacles that proving a civil case presents can be daunting, that makes it all the more important for victims to ensure that they get the right advice and assistance as soon as possible.