• June 14, 2022

18-Wheeler Rear-Ends SUV, One Killed on I-26 in Orangeburg County, SC

Orangeburg County, SC — June 13, 2022, one person was killed after being rear-ended by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 26 in Orangeburg County.

According to reports the incident happened around 2:15 a.m. on westbound I-26 near mile marker 147. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim stopped their Jeep Patriot for unknown reasons in a travel lane near the US-601 junction. The Jeep allegedly had its lights off when an 18-wheeler approached on the road and rear-ended it.

The Jeep driver suffered fatal injuries in the crash. No other injuries were reported.

The crash remains under investigation. No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Truck Accident on I-26 in Orangeburg County

Preliminary reports say the victim stopped on the highway for unknown reasons, and if that's accurate most would say the truck driver may not have much to answer for. However, as with any accident it's important to investigate this matter thoroughly and be sure that first impressions match up with objective facts. I have unfortunately seen more than a few reports in my time where police at the scene got things quite wrong.

18-Wheeler Rear-Ends SUV, One Killed on I-26 in Orangeburg County, SC

Here's an example: Recently I had a victim's family come to me after a crash with similar details, where a truck hit a car that supposedly was almost invisible in the dark. We took a closer look on their behalf and learned police never checked the footage from the truck's dashcam or cabin camera, so we subpoenaed the video to examine ourselves.

The dashcam footage clearly showed the victim's vehicle had its lights on and it was clearly visible almost a mile away from the truck. So why didn't the truck driver move over or slow down? Well, the cabin video revealed he was watching shows on a tablet instead of the road. By the time he looked up and saw the car, it was too late to avoid it.

I don't bring up that other instance to say police will botch the South Carolina investigation, or to point fingers at the truck driver there. I'm only saying that initial reports aren't always as thorough or accurate as folks think. If further independent investigations showed that police got everything right, that wouldn't be too unusual and the victim's loved ones at least would know they have the full story. If they find something else happened, however, then further steps may be warranted.

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