• October 12, 2022

Jackie and Donna Dillard Killed in Truck Accident on US-183 in Pawnee County, KS

Pawnee County, KS — October 10, 2022, Jackie and Donna Dillard died in a collision with a semi-truck on U.S. Highway 183 near Rozel in Pawnee County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 6:45 p.m. at the crossing of US-183 and State Highway 156, around five miles east of Rozel. Preliminary investigation suggests 71-year-old Jackie Dillard was driving a Kia Sorento south on US-183 when he allegedly failed to stop at a posted sign at K-156. The Kia entered the crossing and was hit by an eastbound Peterbilt tractor-trailer.

Jackie Dillard and 69-year-old passenger Donna Dillard were fatally injured in the crash. Both were reportedly wearing seat belts. The truck driver, also wearing a belt, was unhurt.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Jackie and Donna Dillard Accident near Rozel

If reports are accurate then it's not clear why the victims didn't wait for the truck to pass, but rather than jumping to any conclusions about that it's important to consider all the possible explanations: Did the Kia have mechanical or brake problems? Was its driver in good health, or could a medical issue have caused him to lose control? Did something block his view of the approaching big rig? Was signage present and clear at the intersection? Could bad weather or hazardous road conditions have been a factor? Is there a history of similar crashes in that area? Is the intersection designed poorly? Could the truck driver have done anything differently to avoid the collision?

Jackie and Donna Dillard Killed in Truck Accident on US-183 in Pawnee County, KS

I'm not trying to overcomplicate things or unfairly blame anyone; I just know that unusual factors are sometimes overlooked during preliminary investigations. There was even a recent incident in West Texas where someone allegedly ran a stop sign and fatally crashed with an 18-wheeler, only for us to find out later that TxDOT road crews removed the signs during construction and didn't put them back. The victim didn't even know he had to stop, but until that fact came to light police reports wrongly blamed him.

That's a pretty unique situation, but it's a good example of how many crashes really aren't as simple as they might appear at first. The victims deserve the benefit of the doubt while efforts are made to learn the full story. Will police be thorough enough to get it, or would an independent investigation stand a better chance of finding answers about a family's loss?

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