Sheri Gustafson Killed in Tractor-Trailer Accident in Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ -- August 4, 2022, Sheri Gustafson was killed due to an accident where a tractor-trailer and a motorcycle collided.
Investigators reported that the crash took place at around 9:30 a.m. along I-40 at Country Club Drive.
According to reports, 49-year-old Sheri Gustafson was on a motorcycle traveling off the I-40 exit to Country Club Drive. Reports say that both Gustafson and an 18-wheeler attempted to turn left onto Country Club Drive. Somehow, Gustafson crashed into the rear portion of the tractor-trailer.
Due to the collision, Gustafson sustained fatal injuries. Additional details about the crash are unavailable at this time.
Commentary on Sheri Gustafson Tractor-Trailer Accident in Flagstaff
There isn't much information about what happened here, but my concern is some folks may be quick to jump to conclusions. A lot of people just assume motorcyclists are reckless drivers, so they read about a crash like this and assume the rider did something wrong. That's certainly worth consideration--it's not even all that uncommon. But making sure investigators are unbiased and let the evidence speak for itself can be more challenging than it should be.
Not long ago, for example, a family came to me about a motorcyclist who police said caused a deadly crash by speeding and weaving in and out of traffic before hitting a semi-truck. They knew their loved one wasn't reckless like that, so they asked us to look into things. As the evidence ultimately showed, their instincts were right. Police completely got the facts wrong.
The main issue was that the investigating officer, an inexperienced rookie, misinterpreted a witness statement. When we spoke with him, he refuted ever saying that the motorcyclist was weaving or speeding. All he said was that the motorcyclist passed him on the left. It was actually the semi coming out of a parking lot that caused the deadly wreck.
Put simply, had there not been more thorough investigations, it's likely that family never would have known the truth. Common or not, that's a possibility that prudent investigators must always account for in order to get families the answers they deserve. Are those steps being taken here?