• July 22, 2022

Charles Hedges, Joseph Taylor Killed in Williamson County, IL Truck Accident

Williamson County, IL — July 20, 2022, Charles Hedges and Joseph Taylor were killed in a crash with two semi-trucks in Williamson County.

According to preliminary reports the incident happened around 9:15 a.m. on Route 37 near Kellville Road. Investigators say Hedges and Taylor were in an Isuzu truck headed north on the highway. For reasons not yet known, the Isuzu crossed over the center line and hit the sides of two southbound tractor-trailers. After the impact one of the big rigs overturned.

Hedges and Taylor were fatally injured in the crash. The driver of the overturned semi was airlifted to an area hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Charles Hedges, Joseph Taylor Accident in Williamson County

Reports say the victims crossed left of center and may have triggered the accident. Some will accept that without question, but keep in mind that early reports are basically just educated 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 there 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 victim didn't keep wrongly taking the blame.

Charles Hedges, Joseph Taylor Killed in Williamson County, IL Truck Accident

I'm not saying the Route 37 crash is like that or suggesting police will drop the ball. Even if they're positive the victims crossed over first, though, there's still the question of why. The reason could be as common as speeding or distraction, but there are many other possible explanations. Could the Isuzu have blown a tire or had a mechanical failure? What about the driver--did he have a medical emergency? Those may not be as common as distracted or sleepy driving, but nothing should 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' families deserve to know every effort was made to learn the whole story.

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