Timothy Burton Killed in Crash with Parked 18-Wheeler on I-40 in Smith County, TN
Smith County, TN — September 24, 2022, 61-year-old Timothy Burton died in a collision with a parked 18-wheeler on Interstate 40 in Smith County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 4:00 p.m. on the shoulder of eastbound I-40 near mile marker 261. Preliminary investigation suggests a tractor-trailer was stopped on the shoulder due to possible mechanical issues or malfunctions. Its driver had just placed safety markers behind the truck when Burton, eastbound in a Ford F-150 veered onto the shoulder for unknown reasons and hit the back of the semi-trailer.
Burton suffered fatal injuries in the wreck. The truck driver was unhurt.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Timothy Burton Accident in Smith County
There are plenty of truck drivers who go to great lengths to pull safely off the road and mark their vehicles so they're clearly visible just as the law requires from them. News reports suggest the driver in Smith County had just finished placing the required safety devices behind his vehicle, so in all likelihood he did his best to comply with federal law.
Having said that, however, I think it's best for all involved if investigators still look into whether the driver complied in all ways with the laws about pulling to the roadside. CFR guidelines are quite specific about where and how a big rig can park on or near a busy thru-way, and ensuring the law was followed to the letter is important--not only to bring answers to the victim's loved ones, but also to determine whether the company behind that truck has a duty to help them after their loss.
Understanding these laws, why some drivers ignore them, and what can be done when those actions cause harm to people is why we created articles like the one below. Hopefully actions are taken here to ensure the victim's loved ones get the answers they deserve.