• August 24, 2022

One Dead In Fiery 13-Vehicle Pileup on I-40 near Forrest City, AR

Forrest City, AR — August 22, 2022, at least one person died in a fiery multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 40 near Forrest City.

Reports say the incident happened around 3:15 p.m. on I-40 east at mile marker 245.6, east of Forrest City. The cause and circumstances of the crash aren't clear, but investigators say it involved eight commercial vehicles, three pickups, and two cars. Video of the scene showed several of the commercial trucks fully engulfed in flames.

News reports say at least one person was killed in the wreck.

The investigation continues, but investigators stated a belief that weather played a part in the wreck.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Fiery Pileup Accident near Forrest City

Just about any crash can be chaotic, but the chances of that increase considerably when several vehicles--particularly commercial ones--are involved. I hope law enforcement is up to the task of figuring out not only what happened, but who or what is responsible for this pileup.

I don't mean to insult the hard (and often thankless) work police do. People may just not realize that traffic investigations don't always get much of a local department's limited resources. Because of that many crash scenes, even complex ones, are quickly examined before a "best guess" is recorded and the file is closed. Unless someone looks again for clearer answers, that guess essentially becomes the final word on the matter even if critical details might have been overlooked or evidence was lost. That can make some serious problems when victims and families seek help afterward.

To be clear, I'm not saying police will mishandle this investigation--nor am I saying one way or the other what exactly happened. The crash might have been caused by something common like driver distraction or speeding, or it's possible something less ordinary like poor road conditions or a vehicular failure was the trigger. Considering several vehicles were involved, it's quite possible that a combination of factors was behind the pileup.

Every possibility must be considered to ensure vital clues aren't overlooked, which brings me back to my original concern about law enforcement: Unfortunately police can't (or just don't) always properly evaluate all the complexities of a large crash like this. That's why I often advise victims and their families to work with independent experts. Their efforts might find or confirm a simple explanation, but only after thorough investigation can anyone be sure. When all the facts are in, further steps can be considered.


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