Tyeler Harris Killed, 1 Injured in Semi-Truck Accident on I-80 near Rawlins, WY
Rawlins, WY — December 21, 2022, 29-year-old first responder Tyeler Harris died when a semi-truck hit an ambulance on Interstate 80 near Rawlins.
Authorities say the incident happened around 4:15 a.m. on westbound I-80 near mile marker 197. Preliminary information suggests Harris and another EMT were at the scene of a two-vehicle crash, evaluating people for injuries, when a passing Freightliner semi-truck hit them and a nearby ambulance.
Harris was fatally injured in the accident; the other responder reportedly suffered critical injuries.
The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.
Police allegedly said driver inattention is considered a possible factor here. This would hardly be the first time a commercial driver lost focus or got distracted during an early-morning haul, but "possible" is a far cry from "confirmed" and that's what's needed.
People who haven't crashed with an 18-wheeler, lucky as they are, also don't necessarily realize what battles wait for the folks who do. A trucking company's default stance is to dispute, deny, and deflect blame any time they can, no matter what early reports say happened. To ensure they can't muddy the waters or point fingers elsewhere, it's important to investigate thoroughly and get the clear facts supported by objective evidence.
At the end of the day a young man dedicated to helping people lost his life and another was badly hurt. It sure doesn't sound like that was any fault of their own, so I think most would agree that whoever is responsible should be held accountable. It's just important to realize that's rarely a simple matter.