• June 07, 2022

Karen Weldon Killed in Truck Accident at MN-65 and 109th Ave in Blaine

Blaine, MN — June 6, 2022, 51-year-old Karen Weldon was killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer on State Highway 65 in Blaine.

According to reports the incident happened around 4:30 a.m. on MN-65 at 109th Avenue with wet road conditions. Preliminary investigation suggests Weldon was driving a Chevrolet Equinox east on 109th when a southbound Peterbilt truck on Highway 65 ran a red light and crashed into her.

Weldon was killed in the crash. The truck driver, a 37-year-old East Bethel man, received minor injuries.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Truck Accident at MN-65 and 109th in Blaine

Reports suggest the commercial truck driver ran a red light and caused this crash. Some attorneys would probably say that makes this open-and-shut, the truck driver and/or their employer are on the hook, and that's that. However, long experience has shown me that police and news reports rarely tell the whole story. In many cases there are issues above and beyond the simple on-scene details that must be accounted for too.

People don't always realize that when a trucker does something obviously wrong it's important to learn exactly why that happened. Sometimes they're just careless, but other times there's more to it.

Take for example another accident I handled where a truck driver caused a serious crash while texting and driving. The victim's family thought that was enough to build a case, so they were surprised when we dug deeper.

Karen Weldon Killed in Truck Accident at MN-65 and 109th Ave in Blaine

We checked the trucking company's hiring records, accident history, maintenance logs, hours of service logs, truck electronic data, surveillance and dash cam footage, and everything else we could request or subpoena. We learned from all that digging that the truck driver was actually texting his supervisor when he crashed--a practice, we learned, that was all but mandated by his employer.

The supervisor kept a tight leash on the drivers, calling and texting them throughout the day. Drivers were expected to respond immediately or face serious consequences. The supervisor accepted no excuses, so drivers concerned about putting food on the table reluctantly complied with the dangerous policy. With them constantly checking their phones instead of watching the road it was just a matter of time before someone got hurt. Once we found that out we made sure the company was also held accountable for the damage done to our clients.

More than anything else my career has taught me the importance of thorough investigations. Simply looking at a situation from all angles, even when things seem cut-and-dried, helps to ensure that victims have what they need to get the resolution they deserve--both in terms of help and of accountability. Are the people handling this situation taking those steps?

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