• November 28, 2022

Jennifer Blewett, Herman Runge Jr. Killed, Susan Runge Injured in Truck Accident on Highway 25 near Scotland, SD

UPDATE (November 30, 2022): In recent reports, authorities identified the victims in the truck wreck outside of Scotland. They said that 49-year-old Jennifer Blewett and 71-year-old Herman Runge Jr. were killed in the crash. 72-year-old Susan Runge had injuries said to be life-threatening. Right now, additional details are unavailable.

Scotland, SD -- November 22, 2022, two people were killed and one person was injured after a semi-truck accident on Highway 25.

Authorities said that the accident took place just after 6:30 p.m. about five miles north of Scotland in the Capitol Township area.

According to officials, Three people were in a Dodge Grand Caravan traveling southbound along Highway 25. While doing so, a Kenworth semi-truck crossed into oncoming lanes and hit the Dodge.

Due to the collision, a 49-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man were killed. Another passenger, a 72-year-old woman, had injuries said to be life-threatening.

Commentary on Jennifer Blewett, Herman Runge Jr., Susan Runge Truck Accident near Scotland

Considering I can't find any reports of poor weather in this area at the time of the crash, I can't help wondering what led a supposedly professional driver to drift over the center line. Even though weather wouldn't necessarily excuse a crash like this, it does make it more concerning that something like speeding or distracted driving led to this tragedy.

Jennifer Blewett, Herman Runge Jr. Killed, Susan Runge Injured in Truck Accident near Scotland, SD

But simply assuming that isn't going to get answers for folks who have lost their loved ones--not to mention for those in need of help. That's why it's important to know exactly what led to the crash and who's responsible. Can victims and families rely on authorities to get those answers? In my 30 years of experience, probably not. Here's why.

To be blunt, departments do not always prioritize accident reconstruction. While I don't know anything particular about the department or the officers handling this crash, time and time again families come to me with details that barely even scratch the surface. If departments don't invest in state-of-the-art equipment, don't conduct modern training for crash reconstructions, or don't give officers time to work between all of their other responsibilities, complex information can easily slip through the cracks.

That's how people get into situations like one I handled not long ago. A truck driver caused a crash, and when asked for their cell phone, they said they didn't have one. That may have worked for the initial investigations, but I knew that was incredibly unlikely. Fortunately, the deposition we put together tripped up the driver in their own story, eventually causing him to admit he did indeed have a phone. Only after that was there a court order for the records, which clearly showed the driver had been watching adult videos at the time of the crash.

I'm not saying anything like that happened here, but it would sadly be unsurprising if important details were being overlooked here. Simply put, people lost their lives, and someone else may be fighting for theirs as I write this. Shouldn't that warrant every possible step to ensure the right people are held accountable for their actions?

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