• August 26, 2022

Man Killed in Tractor-Trailer Accident on State Road 50 in Brooksville, FL

Brooksville, FL -- August 23, 2022, One person was killed after an accident where a tractor-trailer crashed with a car on State Road 50.

Investigators reported that the crash took place at around 11:00 p.m. along State Road 50 at Hale Road.

According to initial investigations, a man was in a sedan traveling westbound along the highway. Ahead, police say that a tractor-trailer was attempting to make a u-turn. As it blocked traffic lanes, the sedan crashed into the trailer.

The man driving the sedan sustained fatal injuries due to the crash. Right now, no further information is available.

Commentary on Tractor-Trailer Accident on State Road 50 in Brooksville

To put this simply, I've known trucking companies to fire drivers for even attempting a u-turn, successfully or otherwise. It's a dangerous maneuver to do in a tractor-trailer, especially at night when visibility is poor. Is it possible this was a situation where the tractor-trailer was well-lit, easily visible, several drivers slowed down without issue, and the victim just wasn't paying attention? Absolutely. But is that likely? Not really.

Over my 30 year career, I've more often seen something like this happen simply because a truck driver wasn't paying attention and made a reckless maneuver due to their impatience. As easy as that is to say, however, that doesn't make this anywhere close to open-and-shut.

Brooksville, FL Tractor-Trailer Accident Kills 1 on State Road 50

Something to consider is that there is a trucking company no doubt already working on their defense. They have one priority: avoid responsibility. That means tilting the scales in their favor however they can--usually by blaming the victim.

I had one case recently, for example, where an 18-wheeler was blocking highway lanes on a dark highway, and someone hit the trailer. Their explanation was that the victim was speeding, not wearing their seatbelt, and should have been able to avoid hitting the trailer. We knew that was a load of crap, but it was our burden to prove otherwise.

A few key details helped overcome those obstacles. One was finding the car's speedometer frozen due to the impact, and it clearly showed the driver couldn't have been speeding at the time. Additionally, numerous rescue workers testified they had to cut through the victim's seatbelt just to get them out of the wreckage. And finally, our investigations proved that the reflective tape on the trailer was so dirty it likely would have been invisible at the time of the crash.

It was only after all that we were able to get the company to cooperate and do right by the victim's loved ones. I wish I could say that was an unusually obstinate trucking company, but that's essentially the norm. Victims and families need the right tools to convincingly tell their side of the story. Otherwise, they may find that holding someone accountable and getting the help they need is a lot more difficult than just assuming the preliminary reports are clear enough on their own.

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