• September 19, 2022

Teen on 4-Wheeler Killed in Crash with 18-Wheeler near Stickney, SD

Stickney, SD — September 16, 2022, a 15-year-old on a four-wheeler died in a collision with a tractor-trailer at an intersection east of Stickney.

Authorities say the incident happened Friday afternoon at the crossing of Main Street and 289th Avenue. There are few preliminary details available, but reports say the teen made a turn at the intersection and "slid" into the path of a passing big rig.

The impact ejected the teen from the four-wheeler and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was unhurt.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Truck Accident at Main and 289th near Stickney

Some might say that while no doubt tragic, the stated fact pattern suggests the teen victim was at fault. However, as always it's best to investigate carefully and find out if there's more than meets the eye here.

For instance, it sticks out to me that reports say the ATV "slid" into the truck's path. That's a peculiar choice of words unless investigators specifically know that something made the vehicle slide rather than maintain traction. Was the roadway wet or covered in loose material like gravel or caliche? Was it slick for some other reason, like leaked oil or gas? Did the ATV's tires have sufficient traction? Did the rider intentionally take the turn at speed in order to "drift" the 4-wheeler?

Some may think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill here, but every specific detail matters--especially when a young life was prematurely ended. Whether the ATV slid or not is just one of many small-but-vital details that rarely get enough attention from police during a preliminary search, as they try to find just enough to fill out a report and then hustle on to the next thing. If there's a chance the whole and true story may be missed, perhaps it would be better for independent experts to take another look and fill in any remaining blanks.

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