• November 16, 2022

Julie Jackson Killed in Collision with 18-Wheeler on US-65 in Leslie, AR

Leslie, AR — November 14, 2022, Julie Jackson died in a crossover collision with a tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 65 in Searcy County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 3:30 p.m. on US-65 near Grape Vine Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Jackson was driving a GMC vehicle south on the highway when she allegedly crossed over the center line for unknown reasons. After entering the northbound lanes she collided head-on with a Peterbilt tractor-trailer.

Jackson, 47, was fatally injured in the crash. Truck driver Deandra Robinson, 39, received unspecified injuries. A passenger in the big rig was unhurt.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Julie Jackson Accident on US-65 in Leslie

It's important to keep an open mind and investigate carefully after any crash. Even with something like an alleged crossover wreck where the cause may seem clear, many such incidents are far less straightforward than they first seem.

For example, I handled a similar accident not long ago in which a victim was faulted for crossing left of center and crashing with a big rig. Our experts looked again on the victim's behalf, though, and found police actually made a mistake: The truck driver actually drifted left of center first after falling asleep at the wheel. The victim crossed over to avoid the big rig but the truck driver woke up and corrected course at the same time. Police just found the crashed vehicles in the truck's lane and assumed the victim was to blame.

I'm not suggesting the same thing happened in Arkansas, but even if police are certain of who crossed over there's still the question of why. What made her go left of center? Was she distracted by something? Did something unusual happen, like a medical emergency or a vehicle malfunction? Was the road wet or hazardous? Could any other extenuating factors have influenced what happened?

I don't want to overcomplicate things or point fingers. It's just best to keep an open mind during the investigation--by police, and if there are questions left when they wrap up then by independent experts as well. At the very least the victim's family deserves to know they have the whole story; anything beyond that would depend on what is learned.

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