• December 08, 2022

Sheila Vaughn Killed in Auto Accident on SH 164 in Johnson County, AR

Johnson County, TX — December 6, 2022, 52-year-old Sheila Vaughn died in a collision with a semi-truck on State Highway 164 in rural Johnson County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 2:25 p.m. along Highway 164. Preliminary investigation suggests a Mack semi-truck was southbound one the roadway when the driver said Vaughn's norhbound Kia Forte swerved into his lane. The trucker reportedly swerved partway onto the shoulder but was unable to avoid a collision.

Vaughn was fatally injured in the crash. The truck driver received unspecified injuries.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Sheila Vaughn Accident in Johnson County

It's important to keep an open mind and investigate carefully after any crash. Even with something like an alleged crossover wreck where the cause may seem clear, many such incidents are far less straightforward than they first seem.

For example, I handled a similar accident not long ago in which a victim was faulted for crossing left of center and crashing with a big rig. Our experts looked again on the victim's behalf, though, and found police made a major mistake: The truck driver actually drifted left of center first after falling asleep at the wheel. The victim crossed over to avoid the big rig but the truck driver woke up and corrected course at the same time. Police just found the crashed vehicles in the truck's lane and assumed the victim was to blame.

Sheila Vaughn Killed in Johnson County, AR Auto Accident on SH 164

I'm not suggesting the same thing happened in Johnson County, but even if police are sure who crossed over there's still the urgent question of why. Was she distracted by something? Did something unusual happen, like a medical emergency or a vehicle malfunction? Was the road hazardous or designed poorly? Could anything else have influenced what happened?

I don't want to overcomplicate things or point fingers. It's just best to keep an open mind during the investigation--by police, and if there are questions left when they wrap up then by independent experts as well. At the very least the victim's family deserves to know they have the whole story; will someone make sure they get it?

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