• November 11, 2022

James Parker Killed in Auto Accident on I-70 in Licking County, OH

Licking County, OH — November 11, 2022, 82-year-old James Parker died in a collision with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in Licking County.

Authorities say the incident happened Friday morning along eastbound I-70. Preliminary investigation suggests Parker was driving a Chevy Equinox west in the eastbound lanes, against traffic, for unknown reasons when he collided head-on with a Freightliner 18-wheeler. After the impact the Chevy hit a guardrail and the big rig crashed through it, ran down an embankment, and overturned in a body of water at the bottom.

Parker was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver, 34-year-old William Havyarimana, was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on James Parker Accident in Licking County

I have no specific reason to doubt that things happened the way police said, but over the years I've learned to take preliminary reports with a grain or two of salt. Could there be more to the story?

Here's an example of why it's important for someone to look again: Not long ago a family contacted us after police said their loved one crossed over a road's center line and hit an 18-wheeler. However, our investigators found the 18-wheeler actually crossed over first when its driver fell asleep. The victim swerved left to avoid it but his honking horn woke up the trucker, who then mirrored the evasion while trying to right his course. The two collided head-on in the truck's lane, and since police found them there they assumed the victim was the only one to go left of center.

The officers in charge of that investigation had neither the experience nor the tools to properly examine the scene. Moreover, they quickly accepted the story from the sole witness--the truck driver--who saw no need to correct them. If investigators have the right tools and training such pitfalls can be avoided, and victims and families can get the full story. Will someone be sure they get it here?

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