Shelly Vilsaint Killed in 18-wheeler Accident on Cross Bronx Expressway in Bronx, NY
UPDATE (December 1, 2022): Authorities now identify the woman killed in the crash as 49-year-old Shelly Vilsaint. Additional details about the crash itself remain under investigation.
Bronx, NY -- November 29, 2022, a woman was killed following an accident where an 18-wheeler hit her vehicle on the expressway.
Investigators said that the incident happened at around 12:30 a.m. along the westbound lanes of the Cross Bronx Expressway in the Morris Heights area.
It appears that a woman was in a car along the expressway when a collision somehow occurred with a tractor-trailer working for USPS. After this collision, another tractor-trailer crashed into the car, pushing it into the mail truck and sparking a large fire.
The woman in the car sustained fatal injuries due to the crash. No other injuries were reported. Right now, additional details are unavailable.
Commentary on Shelly Vilsaint 18-wheeler Accident in Bronx
Amidst all this chaos, there has to be special attention given to the timing of these events and how exactly they could have been avoided. The way authorities describe events in the news, it appears the initial collision wasn't too serious. That likely means the second collision which resulted in a fire is going to be where most of the important details are. As such, was there any way for that second truck driver to reasonably avoid this collision?
Put simply, a rear-end collision is not always the fault of whoever the rear driver was. It's possible that circumstances were such that the second trucker simply had no way to avoid the collision and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, while not always true, it is usually true that a rear-end collision happens because the rear driver was doing something wrong. Was the driver on their phone? Going too fast? Following too closely? Otherwise not paying attention? Driving with worn tires or faulty brakes? Any one of these details could show that the woman involved here would still be alive had there been a reasonably prudent professional driving behind her.
With all of that said, of course, answering these questions is likely to be anything but simple. Any deadly wreck is going to be complex enough, but a dual commercial truck wreck ending in a large fire is only going to present more significant challenges. Frankly, that's not the sort of thing I would leave in the hands of authorities on their own. Decades of experience and hundreds of commercial vehicle wrecks taught me their priorities aren't always dedicated enough to accident reconstruction to ensure victims and families get the answers they need. As such, it usually takes independent accident reconstructionists to ensure nothing important slips through the cracks. Could it be the same will prove true here, as well?