• June 22, 2022

Passenger Killed when Car Hits Tow Truck on Lodge Freeway in Detroit, MI

Detroit, MI — June 20, 2022, 36-year-old woman from Westland was killed when a car struck a tow truck on the Lodge Freeway in Detroit.

According to reports the incident happened around 2:45 a.m. along the northbound Lodge Freeway near the Interstate 75 ramp. Preliminary investigation suggests a tow truck was partially blocking the right lane with its emergency lights activated when a Chevy Monte Carlo approached and crashed into it from behind.

The Chevy's passenger suffered fatal injuries in the wreck. Its 40-year-old driver and the tow truck driver were unhurt.

Investigators said impairment may be a factor in the collision.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Tow Truck Accident on Lodge Freeway in Detroit

People may see the word "impairment" mentioned in preliminary reports and reflexively blame the whole thing on alcohol without much further scrutiny. The impulse is understandable; drunk driving might explain how someone could plow into an illuminated obstacle in the roadway. However, it's a concerning detail that the truck was in the car's path at all and that deserves another look.

Why was the tow truck stopped partially in the travel lane? Was the driver trying to line up with another vehicle on the shoulder to pick it up? Could that have been done from another angle where the tow truck wasn't in the road? How long was the tow truck there before the car showed up? The news says its lights were on, but were they clean and fully visible?

Passenger Killed when Car Hits Tow Truck on Lodge Freeway in Detroit, MI

I understand if some folks rolled their eyes at all those questions, but my point isn't to find some way to blame the truck driver. Most crashes really just don't boil down to single factors being to blame. If the car's driver was drunk as was suggested then clearly action should be taken there, but also if the truck had been out of the way on the shoulder it's far less likely the car would have hit it. That can't just be overlooked because someone mentioned alcohol.

Proper accident investigations consider how all the various elements contributed instead of pinning everything to one specific issue. Will police just write "DWI" on their reports and call it a day, or will they get the whole story?

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