• October 18, 2022

One Killed in Crash between 18-Wheelers on Henry Miller Ave in Los Banos, CA

Los Banos, CA — October 15, 2022, one person died in a collision between two tractor-trailers on Henry Miller Avenue in Los Banos.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 11:45 p.m. on Henry Miller near Cherokee Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a semi-truck hauling two trailers loaded with tomatoes was eastbound on the roadway as the victim's big rig, towing two empty trailers, was headed west.

Reports indicate the eastbound truck's right side drifted onto the south shoulder, at which point the rear tomato trailer went out of control and veered into the westbound lane. The westbound big rig then hit that trailer.

The westbound truck's 36-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The other truck driver was unhurt.

The investigation continues but impairment is not a suspected factor.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Los Banos Truck Accident on Henry Miller Ave

Based on the preliminary facts relayed by the news people may think this matter, while tragic, is pretty straightforward: One truck's trailer entered the other's lane and caused the crash. If that's true, it seems like the company behind the eastbound truck would have to accept responsibility for the damage done and try to make things as right as it can for the victim's loved ones.

While that seems reasonable, I must caution against thinking any crash involving a commercial vehicle--let alone more than one--is ever really simple. When a big rig collides with a civilian passenger vehicle the trucking company is likely to spring into action hunting facts and details it can use to argue its driver wasn't to blame; two trucks colliding with each other may mean both companies will do so and the question of fault will become an extended game of "hot potato" between them. As they bicker back and forth about who or what is to blame for the damage, the victim's family may find themselves frustratingly sidelined.

One Killed in Los Banos, CA 18-Wheeler Accident on Henry Miller Avenue

As with most crashes, the best way to get around all that finger-pointing and blame-deflecting is to find clear and compelling evidence of exactly what happened and why. News and police reports rarely have enough information to ensure a trucking company can't slip away, however, which is why I often recommend that independent investigators take a closer look. Without a case built around indisputable facts, many people--including those who assumed industry solidarity would ensure a company did the right thing--have been shocked and frustrated in their search for help.

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