• September 08, 2022

Jacob Daniels Killed in Crossover Accident on TX-79 in Anderson County, TX

Anderson County, TX — September 6, 2022, 22-year-old Jacob Daniels died in a crossover accident with a semi-truck on State Highway 79 in Anderson County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 4:35 a.m. along TX-79 roughly 8 miles outside Palestine. Preliminary investigation suggests Daniels was driving northeast on the highway when he crossed over the center line for unknown reasons. His vehicle then collided with a southwest-bound semi-truck driven by 61-year-old Ellis Barber.

Daniel was pronounced dead at the scene. Barber was unhurt.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Jacob Daniels Accident in Anderson County

I've heard some people talk about crossover wrecks like they're simple--"Once you know who went left of center, that's that." However, few if any wrecks are settled that simply and a comprehensive investigation is almost always necessary. A case I had a while back shows why I so emphatically believe that all the facts must be uncovered before conclusions are reached.

In that case police said a car crossed over and hit an 18-wheeler. When we looked again on the victim's behalf, though, forensic evidence told a completely different story: The 18-wheeler drifted left of center when the driver fell asleep, so the victim crossed over to avoid it. When the truck hit the rumble strips the driver jolted awake and veered back into their lane, putting them once again on a fatal collision course with the victim.

Jacob Daniels Killed in Crossover Accident on TX-79 in Anderson County, TX

I'm not saying anything like that happened in Anderson County, but even if police are sure who crossed over there's still the question of why. What caused him to go left of center? Was he speeding? Distracted? Or did something unusual happen, like a medical emergency or a vehicle malfunction? Was the road wet or hazardous? Could or should the truck driver have done something differently to avoid the wreck?

I'm not arguing with police or saying I know more than the news conveys. It's just best to keep an open mind as the investigation continues. Things are rarely as straightforward as they first seem, so I often suggest that independent experts take a second look and make sure police didn't miss anything on the first pass. At the very least the victim's family deserves to know they have the whole story; anything beyond that would depend on what is learned.

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