• July 19, 2022

Rickey Latch Killed in Dump Truck Accident on MS-67 in Harrison County

Harrison County, MS — July 14, 2022, 67-year-old Rickey Latch died in a collision with a dump truck on State Highway 67 in Harrison County.

According to reports the incident happened Thursday along Highway 67 east East Wortham Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Latch was driving a Toyota 4Runner north on the highway when he collided under unknown circumstances with a Mack dump truck, driven east on Wortham by 50-year-old Roy Smith.

Latch received fatal injuries in the collision. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Rickey Latch Accident in Harrison County

Looking at the intersection mentioned in reports it seems like vehicles on Wortham Road are meant to yield to thru-traffic on the highway--a pretty standard arrangement. If investigators are right about what happened it seems like the dump truck driver might have failed to yield and the tragic crash followed.

Some may assume the company behind that driver will have little choice but to accept responsibility and make what amends it can. However, things are rarely that simple after truck wrecks. I've litigated hundreds of them over the years, and many of those involved lengthy and challenging legal battles despite having what seemed to be a straightforward fact pattern.

The fact is that trucking companies almost never willingly take responsibility for crashes unless a court makes them. Many have investigators and attorneys dedicated to getting them off the hook, so why step up and do the right thing if they might avoid having to? That's why victims and families have to take prompt action and prepare for the hurdles companies will place in their way.

Rickey Latch Killed in Dump Truck Accident on MS-67 in Harrison County

Here's an example of why that's so important: I had a case not long ago where a big rig pulled across a highway directly into the path of a car, causing a fatal collision. The family took their time to confront the trucking company; they had grieving to do, and they figured there was no question about who was at fault. When they later approached the trucking company, however, they were shocked to hear it not only deny responsibility, but also blame the victim.

The company said the victim was speeding and his seat belt wasn't fastened, suggesting his fatal injuries were due to those and not their driver's actions. Needless to say the family was livid, so they sought our help proving the company wrong. We shut its defenses down with forensic evidence, crash reconstruction, and many other sources of evidence, but the company fought us every step of the way until it had no choice but to admit fault.

I don't tell that story to boast about a victory, but rather to point out that even when the facts seem favorable victims and families must still take action. There are always claims that the trucking company can make, true or not, to put themselves in the most favorable light. Victims must make sure they have the evidence needed to keep the conversation on target. If the truck driver did something wrong and caused this tragedy, there must be clear and convincing evidence of that to ensure the right parties are held responsible.

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