• September 21, 2022

Joel, Mary, John Hynes Killed in Truck Accident on K-15 near Abilene, KS

Abilene, KS — September 20, 2022, Joel, Mary, and John Hynes died when their pickup crashed with a tractor-trailer on Kansas Highway 15 near Abilene.

Authorities say the incident happened Tuesday afternoon along K-15 at 1500 Avenue. Preliminary investigation suggests a Dodge Dakota was traveling south on the roadway followed at some distance by an 18-wheeler. Dodge driver Joel Hynes reportedly started to make a U-turn around 1500 Avenue and the pickup was hit by the southbound Kenworth big rig. After the impact the Dodge ran into the east ditch and overturned on its roof.

Joel Hynes, 54, and passengers Mary Hynes, 64, and John Hynes, 78, died of injuries sustained in the wreck. The semi-truck driver reportedly received minor injuries.

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

Commentary on Joel, Mary, John Hynes Accident near Abilene

Preliminary reported details seem to suggest the SUV's driver made an unfortunately-timed U-turn into the path of the oncoming truck. I won't say I know any differently, and similar wrecks happen all the time. However, it's important to recognize that early reports rarely have all the needed details to say what really happened. It's important to reserve judgment and not reach any conclusions until the facts are clear and confirmed.

Joel, Mary, John Hynes Killed in Truck Accident on K-15 near Abilene, KS

Right now there could still be witnesses, video from the truck's dashcam, forensic evidence from the scene, mechanical defects found during examination of the vehicles, cell phone usage data, or any number of other sources of information that could shed further light on what happened here. Maybe that data would just confirm the first version of events where an SUV turned around at a bad time, but they could also show that the big rig was speeding or following too closely and the crash was realistically quite avoidable. Something beyond either driver's control could even have influenced events.

The key is to avoid jumping to conclusions and to take steps to ensure those affected have the full story. Doing so may require efforts far beyond a simple police investigation alone.

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