Saeu Suluvale Killed in Crossover Accident on I-70 near Junction City, KS
Junction City, KS — November 19, 2022, 34-year-old Saeu Suluvale was killed in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 near Junction City.
Authorities say the incident happened around 10:20 p.m. on eastbound I-70 near mile marker 311, roughly 13 miles east of town. Preliminary investigation suggests Suluvale was driving a Chevy Colorado pickup west on the highway when she may have crossed through the median and crashed head-on with an eastbound Freightliner semi-truck.
The crash remains under investigation. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Saeu Suluvale Accident near Junction City
It's important to keep an open mind and investigate carefully after any crash, no matter how straightforward preliminary reports may seem. The news portrays this as a simple but tragic crossover collision, but unusual factors contribute to accidents--and get overlooked--all the time.
For example, not long ago I handled an accident similar to the one in Kansas. Police said that victim crossed left of center and fatally crashed with a big rig, but after looking more carefully our experts found officers were mistaken. The truck driver actually drifted left of center first when they fell asleep at the wheel. The victim crossed over to avoid the big rig but the trucker woke up and corrected course at the same time. Police found the crashed vehicles in the truck's lane, which led to their mistaken conclusion.
I'm not saying that happened on I-70, but even if police are sure who crossed over there's still the question of why. Were they distracted by something? Did something unusual happen, like a medical emergency or a vehicle malfunction? Was the road wet or hazardous? Did anything else influence what happened?
I don't want to overcomplicate things or point fingers. It's just best not to make any assumptions during the investigation, whether that's done by police or by independent experts. At the very least the victim's family deserves to know they have the whole story.