• September 13, 2022

Benjamin Schaeffer Killed, Four Injured in Crash on US-287 in Montague County, TX

Montague County, TX — September 11, 2022, 29-year-old Benjamin Schaeffer died and four people were injured in a three-vehicle crash on US-287 in Montague County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 9:40 p.m. along US-287 near Sunset. Preliminary investigation suggests Schaeffer was driving a Chevy pickup south on the highway when he allegedly crossed over the center line for unknown reasons. The Chevy sideswiped a northbound pickup, then continued onward and crashed head-on with a Volvo tractor-trailer.

After the impact the Chevy overturned and Schaeffer suffered fatal injuries. Four other people were reportedly hospitalized after the wreck; it is unclear which vehicles they were in.

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

Benjamin Schaeffer Killed, Four Injured in Crash on US-287 in Montague County, TX

Commentary on Benjamin Schaeffer Accident in Montague County

In my experience people have a tendency to read a fact pattern like this one and reach some pretty quick conclusions about exactly how and why a crash occurred. For instance, when a driver crosses left of center for no clear reason on a weekend night some folks are likely to say he was looking at a cell phone or--more cynically--that he was intoxicated.

Driver errors like those will probably get serious consideration as police try to connect the dots, but I hope they don't focus so much on those that they ignore other possibilities as well. If the victim's pickup lost traction on a wet road or had some kind of mechanical failure, for example, it wouldn't be right to blame him for losing control.

Unfortunately I've learned over the years that police don't always dig deep enough to consider all the potential explanations, instead content to look for signs of the "greatest hits" and then close the books. To be sure all the facts are found and the truth is brought to everyone affected, an independent investigation by experienced professionals may be needed.

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