• December 01, 2022

One Injured, Kevin Rise Charged in 18-Wheeler Accident on I-90 in Kittitas County, WA

Kittitas County, WA — November 30, 2022, a truck driver was injured in a crash involving three 18-wheelers and a bus on Interstate 90 in Kittitas County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 9:20 a.m. along I-90 near mile marker 73. Preliminary investigation suggests 64-year-old Kevin Rise was driving west on the highway when for unknown reasons he rear-ended another big rig. The impact pushed the second truck into a third that was parked on the shoulder.

The third truck's driver was outside the rig and was hit as his truck was pushed into a nearby parked bus. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries. No other injuries were reported.

Investigators charged Rise with following too closely.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on 18-Wheeler Accident on I-90 in Kittitas County

Based on the preliminary facts in the news people may think this matter is pretty straightforward: One truck trailer rear-ended another and triggered a chain reaction, end of story. If that's true it seems like the company behind the first truck (and its charged driver) would have to accept responsibility for the damage done and try to make things right.

While that seems reasonable, I caution against thinking any crash involving a commercial vehicle--let alone several--is ever really simple. When a big rig collides with a car or pickup the trucking company is likely to argue its driver wasn't to blame, so several colliding with each other may mean fault will be an extended game of "hot potato" between companies as each tries to blame the other (or road quality, or sun glare, or whatever else they can think of). Moreover, a driver being charged doesn't mean his employer will accept liability without a bitter fight. As they bicker back and forth about who or what is to blame for the damage, the victim may find himself in limbo waiting for much-needed help.

The best way to get around all that bickering and finger-pointing is to find clear and compelling evidence of exactly what happened and why. News and police reports rarely provide that level of scrutiny, however, which is why I often recommend that independent investigators take a closer look. Without a case built around indisputable facts, many people--including those who assumed industry solidarity would ensure a trucking company did the right thing--have been rudely surprised when their cases didn't go as they imagined.

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