Ella Mae Arn Killed in Truck Accident on I-20 in Reeves County, TX
Reeves County, TX — November 17, 2022, 78-year-old Ella Mae Arn died in a traffic accident with a commercial truck on Interstate 20 in Reeves County.
Authorities say the incident happened Thursday evening along westbound I-20. Preliminary investigation suggests Arn was driving a Toyota Highlander west in the right lane, allegedly at low speeds and with her lights off for unknown reasons, when an International tractor-trailer approached from the east and struck the back-left quarter of her vehicle. The impact sent the SUV off the road and it overturned in the westbound bar ditch.
Arn suffered fatal injuries in the collision. No other injuries were reported.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Ella Mae Arn Accident in Reeves County
It's troubling that reports say the victim was driving under the limit with her lights off; between those alleged factors this may be a simple but tragic matter where the truck driver couldn't see the car in time to stop or steer clear. However, did investigators find evidence of those factors or did they simply take the word of the sole surviving witness?
I worked on a case not long ago with facts similar to the ones in Reeves County. A family came to me with reports saying a semi-truck hit their loved one, whose vehicle was disabled on the highway. The company behind the truck claimed the disabled vehicle wasn't visible in time and the truck driver had no way to avoid the collision. We started digging, though, and that turned out to be untrue.
A key piece of evidence was video footage we obtained via a court order, showing both the dash cam and the inside of the truck's cab. The footage clearly showed the victim's hazard lights come into view more than half a mile down the road, so why didn't the truck slow down or move over? From the cabin footage we learned the driver was too busy watching TV shows on a tablet to look up at the road.
What was said to be an unavoidable accident there turned out to be the result of extreme recklessness once experienced professionals looked more closely. I'm not saying anything like that happened on I-20, but it's always best not to take preliminary reports as gospel truth--not before a closer look makes sure nothing critical slipped through the cracks. At the very least, the people who lost a loved one deserve to know they have the full story.