• September 26, 2022

Stephen Reinholtz Killed in Crossover Accident on US-33 in Noble County, IN

Noble County, IN — September 19, 2022, 39-year-old Stephen Reinholtz died in a collision with a semi-truck on U.S. Highway 33 in Noble County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 5:45 a.m. on US-33 at Albion Road, a few miles south of Ligonier. Preliminary investigation suggests Reinholtz was traveling north on the highway in a Dodge Grand Caravan when he lost control for unknown reasons.

The van ran off the road onto the shoulder and Reinholtz over-corrected, sending the vehicle over the center line into the oncoming lane. It then collided head-on with a southbound tractor-trailer.

Reinholtz was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Stephen Reinholtz Killed in Crossover Accident on US-33 in Noble County, IN

Commentary on Stephen Reinholtz Accident in Noble County

Reports seem to say the victim lost control and traveled left of center, but they don't seem to have many insights yet about how or why that happened. There's a wide variety of answers to that--distraction from a cell phone, hitting a bad patch of road and losing traction, sudden and catastrophic vehicle malfunctions or defects, or medical emergencies, just to name a few--and each deserves careful consideration and investigation to learn whether they influenced this terrible event.

Here's where I get concerned, though: Over the years I've found that law enforcement sticks largely to just the most common explanations for an incident like this. That means they might look into issues like speeding or intoxication, but they're more likely to exclude subtler or more complicated possibilities like vehicle failures.

If they don't properly evaluate all the possible causes there's a risk they'll release incomplete or incorrect reports, which is obviously a big problem for the victim's loved ones if they go looking for answers or help. That's why I often recommend getting independent investigators to have another look and make sure no dots are left unconnected.

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