Jessica Duncan Killed in Tractor-Trailer Accident in Elko, NV
Elko, NV -- June 18, 2022, Jessica Duncan was killed due to an accident where Duncan's vehicle crashed along the interstate.
Reports say that the incident happened just east of Elko along I-80. According to officials, 40-year-old Jessica Duncan was in a Toyota Corolla traveling westbound along I-80 near mile marker 305. It appears a tractor-trailer merged into Duncan's path while passing another vehicle. Duncan then swerved to avoid hitting the tractor-trailer, causing the Toyota to swerve off-road, then back onto the highway before overturning off the right side of the road.
Due to the crash, Duncan sustained fatal injuries. Reports did not list any other injuries. It's unclear if the tractor-trailer involved stayed on scene and spoke with authorities. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Jessica Duncan Tractor-Trailer Accident in Elko
Frankly, it's a bit concerning the news of this woman's tragic death is only coming out now, weeks after the crash. Sometimes, authorities will simply withhold details to make sure they know the full story. But with the few details surrounding these events, I can't help feeling concerned that authorities simply didn't give this tragic event the attention it deserves. That's often a situation that calls for immediate, through independent investigations.
What really stands out to me here is the way reports describe the exact events of the crash. They say that the victim swerved to avoid an 18-wheeler that moved over into her lane. However, the reports make no mention of any actual contact between the victim and the tractor-trailer. This can be a crucial distinction since companies often use a lack of physical contact to tip the scales in their favor. They'll typically say since there was no actual collision, their driver did nothing wrong, therefore the victim simply overreacted. But does that hypothetical defense hold water?
As usual, it depends. If evidence showed, for example, that a reasonably prudent driver could have just slowed down without any issue, then maybe there's something to be said for faulty evasive maneuvers. But if evidence instead shows the victim only had two choices--swerve off-road or slam into the back of an 18-wheeler that cut them off--then a reasonable jury seeing that evidence would likely determine that the truck driver's actions were the proximate cause of the crash.
Of course, there's also the possibility that authorities failed to mention a collision. In that situation, too, there can be plenty of blame-shifting to prepare for, but the investigations would then need to include debris analysis, laser mapping, and other complex factors that a typical police report rarely covers on its own.
To put all of this in simpler terms: I am not confident that this woman's tragic death has received the attention it deserves. Not only do reports weeks after the fact offer little detail, but any serious commercial vehicle wreck is going to involve inherent challenges that require experienced independent accident reconstructionists to navigate. Maybe those efforts are happening behind the scenes--I certainly hope they are. But it's important folks understand the importance of getting the right people to look into a deadly truck wreck as soon as possible. Doing so can be the difference between a company dodging a bullet and a family getting the justice they deserve.