Two Teens Killed, One Injured in Crash with 18-Wheeler on I-81 in Washington County, MD
Washington County, MD — August 25, 2022, two teenagers died and another was injured in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 81 in Washington County.
Reports say the incident happened Thursday night along northbound I-81 at Route 40. Preliminary investigation suggests a Lexus sedan with three occupants turned onto I-81 at alleged high speeds and crashed into the cab of a passing 18-wheeler.
The sedan's 17-year-old driver and a 15-year-old passenger died in the crash. The car's third occupant was airlifted to a Baltimore trauma center. The truck driver was unhurt.
The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Washington County Truck Accident on I-81
If reports have their facts straight this accident may have involved a young driver making a costly mistake. I have no particular reason to doubt that, but I also wonder what evidence those reports are based on so soon after the wreck.
Any time a deadly accident involves a teen driver, my concern is folks may be quick to automatically blame the victim. It's true that statistically teens are likely to cause serious accidents, but it's important to consider other possible factors--even if they seem unlikely. The victims' loved ones deserve to know they have the full story, supported by proof.
That's why I try to turn a critical eye to early reports with few details. They say the teen crashed into the truck while turning onto the highway, but how did they conclude that? Did they analyze tire markings and debris patterns? Did the car's speedometer freeze on impact, confirming its speed? Did police find clear dashcam footage from the truck? Or are they currently basing their whole understanding of what happened on the word of the only person available to tell the story--the truck driver?
I'm not keen to speculate about the crash or point accusatory fingers. Further investigations could and may confirm what the first reports say. However, if steps haven't been taken to make sure nothing important slipped through the cracks, it would be a disservice to the boys who were taken from their loved ones far too soon. That's why my immediate concern after any fatal truck wreck like this is making sure experienced accident reconstructionists look into things and ensure all of the facts are clear.