• December 20, 2022

Calvin Dietrich Killed in Auto Accident on Road X near Clarkson, NE

Clarkson, NE — December 16, 2022, 79-year-old Calvin Dietrich died in a crash with a commercial truck on Road X near Clarkson in Colfax County.

Authorities say the incident happened just before 10:00 a.m. at the intersection of Road X and Road 9, roughly a mile east of town. Preliminary investigation suggests Dietrich was a passenger in a westbound Chevy Silverado K1500 pickup on Road X; as the pickup passed through the Road 9 crossing it was hit by a northbound Sterling LT 9500 straight truck.

Dietrich was fatally injured in the crash. The pickup driver's condition is unknown. The straight truck driver, 58-year-old Wes Balzer, was reportedly cited on suspicion of disregarding a stop sign and vehicular homicide and was released.

The investigation continues. No further information is available at this time.

Calvin Dietrich Killed in Auto Accident on Road X near Clarkson, NE

Commentary on Calvin Dietrich Accident near Clarkson

The news mentioned police suspected the truck driver of running a stop sign and triggering this wreck. Some may think that--pending confirmation--that's pretty much all anyone would need to hold the trucker and his employer accountable for the tragic damage done in the crash; if the commercial driver ran a stop sign and hit the victim, what more is there to say?

The reality is that almost no commercial truck accident ties up that neatly. Trucking companies have developed many tricks and strategies to avoid liability no matter how preliminary reports look. After the Colfax County accident, for example, I wouldn't be surprised if they suggested the victim was speeding or wasn't wearing a seat belt--either or both of which were more directly responsible for his injuries. Is either true? They don't have to know or care since disproving it would be the problem of anyone seeking to hold them responsible.

The point is that a company's stubbornness and inventiveness shouldn't be underestimated after a wreck. That's why I try to inform people about the challenges they might face in situations like this and talk about ways to overcome them. Click below to learn more.

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