• November 02, 2022

Nathan Tenneson, Steven Hermanson Killed in Crash with Disabled 18-Wheeler on I-55 near Springfield, IL

Springfield, IL — October 30, 2022, Nathan Tenneson and Steven Hermanson died in a fiery three-vehicle accident on Interstate 55 near Springfield.

Authorities say the incident happened around 8:45 p.m. along I-55 near Pawnee-Auburn Exit 82. Preliminary investigation suggests a northbound tractor-trailer went out of control for unknown reasons, hit a guardrail, then crossed into the southbound lanes and became disabled.

The truck and trailer were blocking all southbound traffic when Tenneson's pickup truck and Hermanson's Ford Taurus crashed into the trailer's right side. All three vehicles caught fire during the collision.

Tenneson was pronounced dead at the scene. Hermanson and a passenger in the Ford were taken to a Springfield hospital where Hermanson died a short time later. The status of his passenger is unknown. The semi-truck driver was unhurt in the wreck.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Nathan Tenneson, Steven Hermanson Killed in I-55 Crash near Springfield, IL

Commentary on Nathan Tenneson, Steven Hermanson Accident in Springfield

It's obviously important to find out exactly what sent that big-rig off course, but barring some very unusual circumstances most might think the truck driver (and by extension his employer) would more or less have to admit fault and try to make things right. As reasonable as that may sound, however, I caution against thinking any commercial truck accident is really simple to resolve.

As a matter of fact, trucking companies are notorious for fighting tooth and nail against taking responsibility for accidents no matter what police or the news may say happened. They argue with authorities' findings, point fingers at other potential factors to reduce or deflect blame on their employees, and send their own investigators to find alternate explanations, just to name a few common efforts they quickly make to avoid blame. It's important not to underestimate the lengths some will go to if it means escaping the hot seat.

I know all that may sound highly cynical, but it comes from long experience. In all my years of working on truck accident cases I've encountered just one company that admitted fault and did the right thing without a prolonged battle; the rest fought bitterly for every inch of ground. That's why I wrote about the obstacles truck accident victims and their loved ones should anticipate, as well as how to overcome them. Click below to read more.

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