• July 22, 2022

Ronald Spangler Killed in Crash with Semi-Truck on I-81 in Pine Grove, PA

Pine Grove, PA — July 15, 2022, 54-year-old Ronald Spangler died in a rear-end crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 81 in Schuylkill County.

According to reports the incident happened Friday morning along I-81 near exit 100. Preliminary investigation suggests only that Spangler was driving a van that collided with the back of a tractor-trailer for unknown reasons. After the van hit the truck it became wedged beneath the rear bumper.

Spangler was pronounced dead at the scene.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Ronald Spangler Accident in Pine Grove

Many folks believe the rear driver is automatically at fault in a situation like this, but that's not actually true. It's always important to investigate carefully and learn all the facts, including things like both vehicles' speeds, what the drivers were doing, if the big rig braked suddenly for some reason ahead of the van, if the road was hazardous, the weather at the time, and many others.

Another detail that often gets overlooked is whether the 18-wheeler had an intact underride guard, also called a Mansfield bar, meant to keep vehicles from going underneath the trailer during rear-end crashes.

If properly maintained, those guards can often keep a serious collision from being fatal. Unfortunately, some companies consider them "non-essential" and rarely fix or replace them. 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 either just by asking that all potential factors be considered. People read about someone rear-ending a truck and think "case closed," but without looking at all the possibilities 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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