• October 14, 2022

Al Dantes Jr. Killed, 1 Injured in Truck, Gas Station Accident in L’Anse, MI

UPDATE (November 21, 2022): More recent reporting revealed information that the truck driver accused of intoxicated driving had a .156 BAC after the crash. It also appears that he was working with a trainee at the time and had taken over to drive. With these details only making this tragedy more and more blood-boiling, everything I discussed below needs to be taken to heart and considered if those responsible for this awful incident are going to face the appropriate consequences. The thought there could be other drivers for this company engaging in similar behavior is simply too troublesome to ignore.

UPDATE (October 18, 2022): Reports identified the man killed in the accident as Al Dantes Jr. The truck driver, identified publicly as Dawaun Johnson, faces a charge for operating while intoxicated causing death. No further information is available at this time.

L'Anse, MI -- October 13, 2022, a Baraga man was killed and one was hurt after an accident where a tractor-trailer hit a gas station.

Initial details given by state police say the crash happened at around 11:10 p.m. along US 41 at East Broad Street.

It appears that a tractor-trailer somehow crashed into the pumps at the Holiday station. This caused a fire, and someone at one of the pumps was injured. EMS transported that person, a 43-year-old Baraga man, to a hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. An employee was also hurt in the accident.

Right now, authorities say that the 22-year-old Illinois man that was driving the truck was allegedly intoxicated at the time. That man is said to be in jail at this time. Additional details remain under investigation.

Commentary on Al Dantes Jr. Truck, Gas Station Accident in L'Anse

While the exact circumstances leading to the crash aren't entirely clear, certain details are more than concerning. Allegations of a truck driver being intoxicated and crashing through a gas station is about as serious as it gets, especially when someone loses their life. But as straight-forward as people may think that makes an incident like this, the reality is there could still be complex issues that need to be addressed by professionals. Why is that?

Al Dantes Jr. Killed, 1 Injured in Truck, Gas Station Accident in L'Anse, MI

From my experience, intoxicated truck drivers are not some out of nowhere event no one could foresee. Generally speaking, drivers don't just wake up one day and decide to get drunk or high before work. It's more often an ongoing issue that an employer can usually suss out if they're paying attention to their employees. As such, this sort of thing often happens in part because employers either fail to ensure their drivers can do their job safely or because they simply don't care. Could it be something like that happened here?

Like I said, I can't say what happened here right now, and allegations are just that without clear evidence to confirm those claims. However, I know from experience that waiting around for the authorities is rarely prudent when it comes to getting victims and families the answers they deserve. The sooner independent investigators look into what all happened here, the sooner there can be appropriate consequences for a family whose loved one was stolen from them.

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