• June 16, 2022

Mary Ann Datko Killed in Truck Accident on OH-528 in Middlefield

Middlefield, OH — June 15, 2022, 83-year-old Mary Ann Datko died in a collision with a tractor-trailer on State Route 528 in Middlefield.

According to reports the incident happened around 9:30 a.m. along Route 528 at Shedd Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Datko was driving a Ford Escape east on Shedd when she stepped at the Rt 528 intersection, then proceeded into the highway's travel lanes.

Reports suggest Datko failed to yield when entering the highway, at which point her SUV was hit by a southbound 18-wheeler driven by Ravinder Singh. The impact sent the Ford off the road and it came to rest in a nearby private driveway.

Datko was pronounced dead at the scene. Her passenger, 59-year-old Martha Hershbeger, was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Singh was unhurt. All parties were said to have their seat belts on.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Mary Ann Datko Accident on OH-528 in Middlefield

Images of the intersection show that traffic on Shedd Road has a stop sign and is meant to yield to vehicles on Route 528. It's not clear why the victim didn't wait for the truck to pass, but before deciding on an explanation it's important to consider all the possibilities.

For example: Did the Ford have mechanical or brake problems? What about the driver--was she in good health, or could a medical issue have caused her to lose control of the SUV? Did something block her view of the approaching big rig? Was signage present and clear at the intersection? Could bad weather or hazardous road conditions have been a factor? Is there a history of similar crashes in that area? Is the intersection designed poorly? Could the truck driver have done anything differently to avoid the collision?

Mary Ann Datko Killed in Truck Accident on OH-528 in Middlefield

I'm not trying to overcomplicate things here. Unusual factors are just sometimes overlooked and incorrect conclusions are reached during preliminary investigations. There was even a recent incident in West Texas where someone allegedly ran a stop sign and fatally crashed with an 18-wheeler, only for us to find out later that road crews removed the signs during construction and didn't put them back. The victim didn't even know they had to stop, but until that fact was learned they were unfairly blamed.

It's pretty unlikely the same thing happened in Middlefield as stop signs rarely go missing like that (plus reports say the victim stopped before entering the highway). I'm just saying 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 while efforts are made to learn the full story. Will police be thorough enough to get it, or would an independent investigation stand a better chance?

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