One Killed in Rear-End Crash with Semi-Truck on I-35 in Marietta, OK
Marietta, OK — September 21, 2022, a 24-year-old died in a rear-end collision with a semi-truck on Interstate 35 in Marietta.
Authorities say the incident happened around 8:05 p.m. along northbound I-35. Preliminary investigation suggests a semi-truck driven by 29-year-old Denzel Stephens may have been on the northbound shoulder of the highway as the victim's vehicle approached. Stephens allegedly re-entered the roadway ahead of the victim, who then crashed into the back of the semi-truck. The car then ran off the road and caught fire.
The car's driver was ejected in the collision and suffered fatal injuries. Stephens and a passenger in the big rig were unhurt.
The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on I-35 Semi-Truck Accident in Marietta
Reports only create a rough picture of a car rear-ending a semi-truck, but at the same time it seems like there may be more to the story. If the truck was re-entering the highway as the news suggests, how far away was the victim's car when the truck started to merge? Were the truck's lights on? Did the truck driver use his turn signal to warn approaching traffic of his intent? What's ambient lighting like in that area after sundown? What were road and weather conditions in the area?
That's just a handful of many questions that still need answers to connect all the dots. Some may think all that unnecessarily confuses the matter, but consider this: A crash caused by the victim's inattention and subsequent collision with the semi-truck is worlds apart from one caused by the truck driver's careless failure to yield to thru-traffic before merging. The end result might look the same, but the law would treat those two situations very differently.
That's why it's important to investigate carefully--not just to be sure the facts do the talking, but because those facts may also be urgently needed to hold the right parties accountable for the damage done (trucking companies are notorious for fighting against liability when their drivers hurt someone). Will a police investigation be sufficient, or should independent experts have another look to ensure the truth is found?