• July 13, 2022

Chelzi Clinton Killed in Traffic Accident on I-20 in Talty, TX

Talty, TX — June 30, 2022, 28-year-old Chelzi Clinton was killed in a crash with a commercial vehicle on Interstate 20 in Talty.

According to reports the incident happened around 8:10 a.m. on I-20 near FM 1641. Preliminary investigation suggests Clinton was driving a Chevrolet Sonic west on the interstate near mile marker 493, a short distance behind a Kenworth construction truck with an attached trailer.

Reports say traffic was stopped ahead due to a crash further down the highway and the truck driver slowed in response. As the big rig slowed and activated its hazard lights, the Chevy closed the distance without slowing and crashed into the back of the truck. Investigators noted finding no indication of brakes applied before the collision, and the Chevy became wedged beneath the trailer.

Clinton suffered fatal injuries in the crash. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Chelzi Clinton Accident on I-20 in Talty

Some may feel this situation, while clearly tragic, is pretty self-explanatory if the car ran into the back of the truck. Many folks believe rear-end collisions are simple matters where the rear driver is automatically at fault, but that's not actually the case. The law looks at the full context of accidents to learn whether their result could have been avoided or the damage lessened.

Among the important facts still to learn would probably be things like both vehicles' speeds, what the drivers were doing, if the big rig braked suddenly or gradually in response to traffic, if the road was wet or otherwise hazardous, what other nearby vehicles were doing, and many other details.

Another one that often goes unnoticed is whether the 18-wheeler had an intact underride guard, also called a Mansfield bar. It looks like a step to get inside the trailer but is actually required safety equipment designed for rear-end collisions. When those crashes occur it's meant to keep vehicles from going underneath the trailer as the car seems to have done in Talty.

Chelzi Clinton Killed in Rear-end Crash with 18-wheeler on I-20 in Talty, TX

Mansfield bars aren't magic and they can't stop every incoming crash, but if they're properly maintained they can often keep a serious rear-end crash from becoming fatal. Unfortunately, sometimes they're much less useful if their upkeep is ignored. Some firms put off repairs and maintenance checks to save money, particularly on parts they consider "non-essential" like the underride guard. A frustrated truck driver once played us recordings of his supervisor telling drivers to spray-paint over rusted guards instead of replacing them since "they don't matter."

Reports don't say the truck driver did anything wrong or that the truck was in bad shape, and I'm not suggesting that by asking for all factors to get due consideration. My point is that many additional factors beyond "who hit whom" must be accounted for after a collision like this. People read about someone rear-ending a truck and think "case closed," but without looking at all the possible issues the investigation isn't really complete. At the very least the victim's loved ones deserve as many answers as they can get.

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