• July 01, 2022

Two Injured in Four-Vehicle Crash on WA-14 in Benton County

Benton County, WA — June 30, 2022, two people were injured in a four-vehicle crash on State Route 14 in Benton County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 7:20 a.m. along Route 14. Preliminary investigation suggests a van stopped on the eastbound roadway, waiting until traffic passed to turn. A semi-truck traveling behind the van failed to control its speed and rear-ended it, pushing it into the westbound lane where it crashed with an oncoming pickup. The semi-truck then also veered into the westbound lane and hit a car.

Two people involved in the crash were transported to an area hospital for evaluation and treatment.

Investigators say the semi-truck driver may face a second-degree negligent driving charge.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Four-Vehicle Accident on Rt 14 in Benton County

People might read that the commercial truck driver failed to control his speed and rear-ended the victims, then assume that confirms who's to blame for this accident and the resulting injuries. However, trucking companies rarely agree to accept fault for these crashes without a bitter fight--even in cases where the truck driver is charged for their role in the wreck.

If the victims approached the company behind the truck in Benton County for help with their recovery, they'd most likely need to have plenty of clear evidence showing the truck driver's actions were the proximate cause of their injuries. Without that evidence the company has wiggle room to claim something else--slick roads, sudden and mysterious brake failures, or even the van driver for braking suddenly or not using a turn signal--was more directly responsible for the damage done.

Sometimes a company's arguments are cold-blooded, other times just ridiculous, but each has to be refuted with evidence or it could sway a (hypothetical) jury. I've encountered many victims who felt things were so clear on paper that they didn't need to do any further work to prepare, only to watch a clearly at-fault trucking firm waltz away with no liability.

I hate seeing that happen, which is why I tell folks who call the firm that they may not want to just wait for a police report. Instead, it's better to have independent investigators find the facts on their behalf. Armed with what those experts turn up, many people have held truck drivers and their employers responsible for the damage done.

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