• August 29, 2022

Heather Singleton, Elizabeth Goins Killed by 18-Wheeler on US-52 in Winston-Salem, NC

Winston-Salem, NC — August 27, 2022, Heather Singleton and Elizabeth Goins were fatally struck by an 18-wheeler while standing on U.S. Highway 52 in Winston-Salem.

Reports say the incident happened shortly before 1:30 a.m. on southbound US-52 near Ziglar Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Singleton and Goins stopped their vehicles in the rightmost southbound lane for unknown reasons, then exited. They were standing by their vehicles when a southbound big rig crashed into the bag of Goins' vehicle, then hit her and Singleton in the road.

Singleton, 31, and Goins, 30, died in the accident. The truck driver was unhurt and remained at the scene.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Heather Singleton, Elizabeth Goins Accident in Winston-Salem

This soon after the accident it's not surprising that reports don't have all the answers. Why did the two victims stop their cars on the highway? Did they crash into one another? Does that stretch of road have a shoulder, and if so could the cars have pulled onto it or were they disabled? How long were the victims there before the truck came along and hit them? What's visibility like in that area? Lighting? Sightlines? Was the truck driver awake, alert, and paying attention to the road?

I don't know more than what reports can say about what happened here, so I want to be clear that I'm not making accusations or insinuating anything. I'm only calling for careful and thorough investigation to be sure the whole story is found. As things stand some may be ready to draw conclusions from early reports' incomplete picture.

Heather Singleton, Elizabeth Goins Killed by 18-Wheeler on US-52 in Winston-Salem, NC

Jumping to conclusions can be especially problematic in a state like North Carolina, which uses a system of liability called contributory negligence. It says that anyone found to be even 1% at fault for their own injuries is barred from making a claim against the person they say hurt them.

Altogether it's just important that investigators spend the time and care needed to properly understand what happened here. Not only should everyone be on the same page, but clear evidence is almost always necessary to ensure victims and families get the help they need and deserve. Will law enforcement take the necessary steps to ensure that happens?

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