• July 21, 2022

Mark Snider, 11yo Boy Killed in Darke County, OH Crossover Accident

Darke County, OH — July 20, 2022, 43-year-old Mark Snider and an 11-year-old child died after a crash with a tractor-trailer in Darke County.

According to reports the incident happened shortly before 3:15 p.m. on the 3400 block of Route 49 close to Arcanum. Preliminary investigation suggests Snider was driving a Chevy 1500 van northwest on the highway when he crossed over the center line for unknown reasons. After entering oncoming traffic the Chevy collided with a Volvo 18-wheeler.

Snider was pronounced dead at the scene. The van's 11-year-old passenger was airlifted to an area hospital where he later died. The truck driver was treated and released at another area hospital.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Mark Snider Accident on Rt 49 in Darke County

Reports indicate the victim crossed left of center and triggered the accident. Some may accept that immediately, but keep in mind that preliminary findings are generally just officers' best guesses. They shouldn't be taken as the whole story before someone takes a closer look. I've even seen some situations where they were completely mistaken.

In another case not long ago, for instance, police said someone crossed the center line before fatally colliding with an 18-wheeler. The news took that and ran with it, but the victim's family didn't believe it and asked us to look again. Our investigators found the victim was only in the oncoming lane to escape the truck, which crossed over first. The trucker swerved back after waking up to the sound of the victim honking his horn, but that put the vehicles back on a collision course.

Police decided what happened based mostly on finding the car in the oncoming lane, and the only witness was the sleepy trucker who didn't want to correct them. Our closer, more careful attention to detail ensured the wrong person didn't continue to take the blame.

Mark Snider, 11yo Boy Killed in Darke County, OH Crossover Accident

I'm not saying the Route 49 crash is like that other incident, nor am I suggesting that police will drop the ball. Even if they're positive the victim crossed over first in Darke County, though, there's still the urgent question of why. Some may blame common driver mistakes like texting or speeding, but there are many other reasons a person might lose control. Could the van have blown a tire or had a mechanical failure? What about the driver--did he have some kind of incapacitating medical issue? Those may not be as common as distracted or sleepy driving, but they and other possibilities can't be dismissed without proper investigation.

The takeaway here should be that things aren't always as clear-cut as they seem and police reports can contain mistakes or overlook important details. That's why I often suggest working with independent accident reconstruction experts who can devote the proper time and care to finding all the facts of crashes like this one. At the very least, the victims' family deserves to know every effort was made to learn the whole story.

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