• June 20, 2022

Rodney Steudeman Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on Beach St in Fort Worth, TX

Fort Worth, TX — June 17, 2022, 62-year-old Rodney Steudeman died after his pickup truck crashed into a traffic light pole on Beach Street in east Fort Worth.

According to reports the incident happened around 1:00 a.m. near the intersection of Beach and Scott Avenue. Preliminary investigation suggests the pickup was traveling north on Beach when Steudeman lost control for unknown reasons. The truck veered into the median and hit a signal light pole.

Steudeman was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Rodney Steudeman Accident on Beach St in Fort Worth

It's not clear what exactly went wrong here, so I hope people don't jump to any conclusions until the picture is clearer. Folks read about a single-vehicle wreck and tend to think the driver was speeding or looking at their phone, or even--more cynically--that they were impaired.

Each of those is well-known for causing similar accidents, and they're important to investigate as a matter of procedure. Impairment might even have further-reaching implications if a local business violated dram shop law and could be liable for the driver's fatal injuries.

However, just because some factors are common doesn't mean they should be taken for granted. Will authorities consider less-common possibilities too?

Rodney Steudeman Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on Beach St in Fort Worth, TX

Take for example the infamous GM ignition switch defect from years ago. A manufacturing mistake led an important part to suddenly cut off power to vehicles, robbing them of vital safety features like anti-lock braking, power steering, and even airbags. It sometimes left drivers going highway speeds with little to no control over their vehicles.

The resulting crashes reportedly killed over a hundred people and injured many others, yet the public didn't know about the problem for years. It took independent investigators diligently connecting the dots to finally bring the truth to light.

In the meantime, though, far too many people read about those deadly wrecks and assumed the victims did something wrong. That's why jumping to conclusions can be so harmful. There's a family out there in need of answers, and it's important that the right people look into things to provide them.

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