Kirpal Singh Killed in 60+ Vehicle Pileup on Foggy I-5 in Linn County, OR
UPDATE (October 21, 2022): Authorities have identified 63-year-old Kirpal Singh as the victim who lost his life in this accident. Singh was reportedly driving south in a semi-truck when he crashed into another big rig which was stopped for a previous wreck. Singh's truck then caught fire.
No one else involved in that portion of the pileup crash was injured.
Linn County, OR — October 19, 2022, one person died when 60 or more vehicles collided in a massive pileup during heavy fog on Interstate 5 near Eugene.
Authorities say the incident happened Wednesday morning along I-5 near mile marker 216 and the Halsey-Brownsville exit. Investigators believe a thick fog lying over the area was a major factor in the pileup of more than 60 vehicles, including 15 to 20 commercial vehicles.
One fatality was confirmed in the series of wrecks. No other injuries have been reported.
The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Kirpal Singh Accident on I-5 in Linn County
UPDATE (October 21, 2022): New information about the accident suggest the victim's truck hit another one that was stopped in the road. I don't doubt that exactly, but I also wonder if it's really the whole story. Clearly there's the matter of highly-limited visibility from the fog to consider as well, and there may even be further extenuating factors to consider. Poor road conditions, the state of repair of the victim's truck, whether the struck big rig's lights were on and bright enough to be seen through the fog, and many other details still have to be worked out.
Considering how much is on their plate already with this large wreck, however, I'm not positive that police will delve as deep as necessary into the specifics of any given part--even the fatal one. If their final conclusions seem confusing or incomplete, maybe someone else should look again on behalf of the victim's family.
ORIGINAL: Police say the heavy fog in the area severely reduced visibility and was probably a key factor in the series of crashes that claimed a life on I-5. It's true that inclement weather can play a big role in accidents like this, but at the same time I wonder if it's really right to simply throw Mother Nature under the bus and look no further at other possible contributors.
For one thing, there's the matter of exactly how the people in that wreck reacted to the fog and their inability to see down the road. Did they slow down to a crawl, put on their highbeams, and inch forward cautiously? Pull over entirely and wait for the air to clear? Or did some decide "the only way out is through" and keep going highway speeds? If the answer to that last is "yes," were any of those adventurous types in the 15-20 big rigs caught up in the crash?
That last would be a particularly troubling issue, as professional truckers are obligated by federal law to take necessary precautions in bad conditions. That means slowing, stopping, pulling over, and just generally making sure their 80-ton trucks don't pose even more threat than normal. Unfortunately, some professionals have the same instinct to plow through as other drivers, and when that decision results in them smashing into traffic they couldn't see then they and the companies behind them should be held accountable for that reckless mistake.
Reports don't have enough information to say precisely how or why the victim lost their life in this pileup, but simply pointing at "fog" isn't really enough explanation for the people who lost a loved one on I-5. Unraveling the series of events to find all the answers may take some time (and possibly better-trained eyes than police will provide), but I think most would agree that the people affected deserve real answers.