• July 08, 2022

Tracy Kope, Jay Scott Killed, 1 Injured in Tractor-Trailer Accident in Cochranton, PA

Cochranton, PA -- July 8, 2022, Tracy Kope and Jay Scott were killed and one other was injured after a tractor-trailer accident.

Investigators reported that the crash took place just before 9:00 a.m. along Route 322 at Ridgeway Hill Road.

Officials said that 49-year-old Tracy Kope and 62-year-old Jay Scott were in a vehicle traveling westbound along Route 322. At Ridgeway Hill Road, a tractor-trailer reportedly pulled out into their path, resulting in a collision with Kope and Scott's vehicle.

Due to the collision, Kope and Scott sustained fatal injuries. Another passenger reportedly had unspecified injuries. Police did not give any additional details about the crash.

Commentary on Tracy Kope, Jay Scott Tractor-Trailer Accident in Cochranton

If what these reports say is true, then it's incredibly concerning to see a commercial truck driver pulling out in front of cross traffic during daylight hours at an intersection where there appears to be clear stop signs and even a stop signal. Perhaps there will be reasonable explanations following further investigations. This could be some highly unusual situation the truck driver couldn't avoid. More common, however, is that the victims and families will need extensive evidence just to prove something that folks would otherwise think is obvious.

Tracy Kope, Jay Scott Killed, 1 Injured in Tractor-Trailer Accident in Cochranton, PA

For example, a common defense I come across around this time of the morning is that the sun was in the driver's eyes. Now, that's generally not a great defense, but it can still be convincing without enough evidence to the contrary. Trucking companies latch onto these shoddy defenses all the time hoping the victims and families won't have the evidence or tools to properly counter them.

I had a case a while back, for instance, where a trucking company claimed their driver skidded across the center line and hit and killed someone because it was raining. When we actually dug into things, we found it was barely more than a drizzle at the time of the wreck. To make sure they had as little ground to stand on as possible, we were able to prove that the truck was going too fast even for dry conditions, and their tires were even worn due to months of neglected maintenance. It was only after systematically picking apart their defense that the trucking company took responsibility.

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to say I know what happened here or that similar steps will have to be taken here. My point is simply that these reports have authorities claiming that a tractor-trailer pulled out in front of a car, and two people died after the resulting collision. As open and shut as folks may think that is, there are all kinds of possible explanations for a crash like this. Likely or not, it's best to understand those explanations and to have clear evidence to support them or to otherwise convincingly rule them out before they can be used to cheat a family out of the resolution they deserve.

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