Michelle Hamlin Injured in Crash with 18-Wheeler on Weaver St in Emporia, KS
Emporia, KS — July 8, 2022, 40-year-old Michelle J. Hamlin was injured in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Weaver Street in east Emporia.
According to reports the incident happened around 10:50 a.m. on the 10 block of Weaver Street. Preliminary investigation suggests a Freightliner tractor-trailer was traveling along the roadway when the driver braked for unknown reasons. Hamlin, driving a Chevy Equinox behind the truck, rear-ended the semi-trailer.
Hamlin reportedly received minor injuries in the collision. A child in the Equinox, properly restrained at the time of the crash, was unhurt.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Michelle Hamlin Accident in Emporia
Reports say police cited the victim for following behind the truck too closely. To be clear, I'm not necessarily disputing their findings. However, I hope they looked carefully and thoroughly at all the details of the crash before reaching a conclusion. Maybe the victim was following too closely, but the distance between vehicles on a local street can also close pretty quickly--with nowhere to steer clear--if a full-size tractor-trailer suddenly brakes in someone's path. I don't know that the truck driver did anything but gently glide to a stop, but at the same time reports don't say how hard or suddenly he applied the brakes. I would think it's just a point to clarify before handing out citations.
In the meantime some may see all that as largely a moot point since the only injuries sustained were reportedly minor. I hope they have that part right and have no reason to doubt it, but I've seen occasional situations where someone's supposedly-minor injuries turned out to be anything but. In one such instance a client had a "sore back" after an 18-wheeler crash, only for tests to eventually show it was really a slipped disk in his spine. That "minor" injury took major surgery, lengthy physical therapy, and dragged-out battles with insurance to resolve--altogether a far cry from minor.
There's no particular reason to think anything like that will happen after the Kansas wreck. The vehicles likely weren't traveling all that fast on a local street, and if the SUV's safety features kicked in properly a couple of bruises might really be the worst of it. I've just done this long enough to see some people take that for granted and regret doing so later, which is why I suggest taking just about any crash seriously and doing the necessary work to prepare for the worst, even while hoping for the best.