• September 13, 2022

Driver Killed in Single-Vehicle Crash with Guardrail on US-50 in Fremont County, CO

Fremont County, CO — September 6, 2022, a 20-year-old Texas man died in a single-vehicle wreck on U.S. Highway 50 in Fremont County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 6:00 a.m. on Highway 50 near mile marker 236, between Howard and Coaldale. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was driving west on the highway when he may have fallen asleep at the wheel. The car drifted out of its lane and hit the end of a guardrail; the rail reportedly penetrated the truck's cab and hit the driver.

The driver suffered fatal injuries in the crash. An 18-year-old passenger in the vehicle was unhurt.

The investigation is ongoing but police are looking into driver fatigue as a possible factor.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Single-Vehicle Crash on US-50 in Fremont County

Both out loud and on this blog I have long been an advocate of ensuring that a second set of eyes looks at single-vehicle crashes to make sure no unusual or subtle details went unnoticed. Preliminary reports tend to paint a picture of drivers making mistakes that let to their injuries or deaths, and while in many cases that turns out to be true I've seen plenty of others where the victims were unfairly blamed.

Driver Killed in Single-Vehicle Crash with Guardrail on US-50 in Fremont County, CO

Take the Colorado accident above: Police seem to think the driver might have fallen asleep and swerved out of his lane. That's certainly possible and I have no specific reason to doubt them, but did the consider other potential factors out of the driver's hands? Could the car simply have lost traction on a wet patch of road, or perhaps had a mechanical failure or defect that sent it off-course? Moreover, should the guardrail really have penetrated the car the way it did? Was it designed poorly, installed incorrectly, or improperly maintained?

Common or not, investigators must account for further factors like these when possible. If they aren't careful and thorough when getting to the bottom of the crash and the victim's injuries, there's a risk that the whole truth may never come to light. The victim's loved ones deserve no less.

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