• June 21, 2022

Hunter Robertson Killed in Truck Accident on I-35 in Freeborn County, MN

UPDATE (June 22, 2022): Authorities identified the victim of this accident as 22-year-old Hunter Robertson.

Freeborn County, MN — June 20, 2022, one person was fatally injured when a semi-truck and a pickup crashed on Interstate 35 in Freeborn County.

According to reports the incident happened just after 8:00 a.m. on I-35 near exit 2. Preliminary investigation suggests a Kenworth well-drilling truck was traveling south on the roadway when it blew a tire. The truck veered through the median and crashed into a northbound Dodge pickup.

The pickup driver died in the collision. The semi-truck driver received non-life-threatening injuries.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Truck Accident on I-35 in Freeborn County

Tire blowouts and the accidents they cause are often more complex than people realize because they're so challenging to investigate properly. Folks tend to just assume that something in the road punctured the tire or that it just finally gave way after being used too long.

Those are both common factors, and certainly looking into the truck's maintenance records is an important step during the investigation. Maybe the driver ignored his duty to keep the rig in good condition, but it's also quite possible the company behind that driver sacrificed fleet maintenance to keep a tighter budget. If they sacrificed employee (and public) safety to save some money, one could strongly argue that they should be held responsible for the damages that choice caused.

Hunter Robertson Killed in Truck Accident on I-35 in Freeborn County, MN

That may sound like I have it in for the truck driver and his employer, but that's not the case. Neglect of the truck has to be considered as a potential factor, but it's the only possibility. For instance, the tire could have blown due to a manufacturing defect. Those aren't particularly common, but at the same time tires roll off the line sometimes with design or construction flaws that make them give way during normal use. If that happened the tire's makers would most likely need to answer for their faulty product.

So between road debris, neglected maintenance, manufacturing defects, and other possible explanations, how can anyone tell which one happened here? Well, that typically takes special equipment and specialized forensic training, which is something rank-and-file police can't always bring with them. That's one of many reasons why independent investigations are important after truck wrecks. Will appropriate care be taken to learn the whole truth of this crash?

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