Erik Salemke Killed in Pedestrian Accident on I-287 in Bedminster Township, NJ
Bedminster Township, NJ — October 20, 2022, 38-year-old Erik Salemke was fatally hit by a car and a tractor-trailer on Interstate 287 in Bedminster Township.
Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 9:30 p.m. along I-287 North near mile marker 21.8. Preliminary investigation suggests Salemke was crossing the highway on foot when he was struck by a passing vehicle of unknown make or model that did not stop. He was then hit a second time in the roadway by a northbound Volvo tractor-trailer.
Salemke was fatally injured in the accident.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Erik Salemke Accident in Bedminster Twp
Pedestrian accidents can be complex despite many people thinking they aren't. I've heard "Either they were in a crosswalk or they were at fault" more times than I care to count, and the people inclined to say that don't typically show much sympathy for someone on foot in a highway's lanes.
However, virtually every accident is more nuanced than that and the law considers all a crash's variables rather than focusing purely on one detail like right-of-way. It's important to find out how avoidable the crash was (or should have been). For example: Why was the pedestrian crossing the highway there? How long was he there before the vehicles passed through? How visible was he? Is that area lit at night? Were the vehicles' headlights on? Were the drivers paying attention to their surroundings? Did other vehicles successfully avoid the victim? Could or should anything else have been done to avoid the collision or reduce its damage?
I'm not making any accusations or suggesting I know more than police investigators; some of the questions I mentioned also can't fully be answered until the hit-and-run driver is located, which will take some time. I'm just saying what I always do: Even if preliminary reports seem fairly straightforward and paint a picture of someone in the road at a bad time, it's always best to carefully investigate all the possible factors in search of the whole truth. If there are other issues to consider or actions to take, that will only be learned by finding all the details.