• October 25, 2022

Teen Killed in Alleged Wrong-Way Crash with 18-Wheeler on SH 37 near Ethan, SD

Ethan, SD — October 20, 2022, a 16-year-old died when his pickup crashed with a tractor-trailer on State Highway 37 near Ethan.

Authorities say the incident happened Thursday along northbound SD-37 north of town. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim may have been driving a Ford F-250 pickup south in the northbound lanes, against traffic, when he collided with a Kenworth Construction semi-truck and trailer.

The pickup driver suffered fatal injuries in the wreck. The Kenworth driver received minor injuries. Both were reportedly wearing seat belts.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Wrong-Way Accident on SD-37 near Ethan

Police seem to have a fair idea of what happened here, though as usual right now they're light on explanations for it. I'm not coming down on them for not having every dot connected so soon, but I think most would agree that the loss of a young man's life is more than enough reason to investigate the matter carefully. Hopefully police are taking the time and care needed to get the whole story for his loved ones.

If it turns out they overlooked something important, though, it would hardly be the first time. I learned long ago in my career to ensure independent accident reconstructionists look into serious wrecks--especially when they have as many potential pitfalls as commercial truck accidents tend to. That desire for independent verification isn't because I don't trust authorities; it's simply that mistakes happen when officers have too many competing priorities and not enough time to be as thorough as is warranted. A grieving family deserves to know they have the whole story, which in some cases means ensuring they know what should be looked for and that they find someone who will do so. Click below to learn more.

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