• September 27, 2022

Teen Driver Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on Old Hwy 10 near Laurel, UT

Laurel, MT — September 20, 2022, a 16-year-old driver fatally drowned when his car overturned into a body of water outside Laurel.

Authorities say the incident happened Tuesday on Old Highway 10. Preliminary investigation suggests the teen was driving a Honda Accord on the highway, which was wet from recent rainfall, when he lost control. The Honda ran off the roadside and the driver over-corrected, causing the car to side-skid back through the travel lanes and then crash into a tree on the other side. It overturned and landed upside-down in nearby water.

The teen driver drowned in the water and was pronounced dead around 2:25 a.m. Another 16-year-old in the Honda managed to escape and was taken to a Billings hospital.

Investigators believe speed and road conditions were factors and that impairment is not suspected.

No further information is currently available.

Marshall Edwards Killed in Car Accident on Old Hwy 10 near Laurel, UT

Commentary on Car Accident on Old Highway 10 near Laurel

Crashes involving teen drivers, serious and tragic as they often are, don't always get the careful investigation they deserve. Why? Because many people regard them mostly as tragic byproducts of inexperienced or potentially-reckless young people taking risks behind the wheel, prematurely pinning the blame on the drivers without waiting for the facts to come in.

It's true that any driver can make a mistake; it's also true that statistically young drivers make more of them. Police seem to be leaning that direction by mentioning speeding on the wet road, but years of experience make me wonder if they really considered where there's any more to the story. Things like tire blowouts and vehicle defects may not be all that common, but they cause wrecks every day and can't be ignored when putting the puzzle together.

Unfortunately, less-common elements are often overlooked because law enforcement focuses mostly on common factors. Turning a blind eye to other possibilities is a problem if it means someone gets blamed for a wreck that was actually out of their hands. Will police invest appropriate time and care to ensure the victims' loved ones get the whole story?

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