• December 27, 2022

Jacob Bertazon Killed in Crash with Tanker Truck on Barrens Rd in Hopewell Township, PA

York County, PA — December 22, 2022, Maryland man Jacob Bertazon died in a collision with a tanker truck on Barrens Road South in Hopewell Township.

Authorities say the incident happened Wednesday afternoon along Barrens Road South near the Barton Circle intersection. Preliminary investigation suggests only that Bertazon was driving north on Barrens Road when he allegedly crossed over the center line for unknown reasons. After entering the oncoming lane his vehicle collided with a septic tanker truck.

Bertazon was fatally injured in the collision. No other injuries were reported.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Jacob Bertazon Killed in Crash with Tanker Truck on Barrens Rd in Hopewell Township, PA

Folks tend to quickly blame crossover accidents on whoever reports say went left of center and assume that person did something wrong. Sometimes that's true, but it can't and shouldn't be taken for granted before more investigation is conducted. Many things out of the driver's hands could have contributed, from poor road conditions to a tire blowout to a medical emergency, but making sure those possibilities get proper attention is where things get challenging.

Little as I like saying it, police efforts aren't always enough to uncover the whole truth of a crash like this. In a similar wreck not long ago, for example, they claimed a car crossed the center line and hit an 18-wheeler. When we actually looked at the evidence, though, it was clear that the 18-wheeler crossed over first after its driver fell asleep at the wheel. The truck hit the rumble strips and the driver woke up, then swerved back toward his lane. The victim couldn't avoid the big rig again, but because both vehicles were found in the truck's lane police assumed the car crossed over.

If police can make mistakes like that, there may be all kinds of other crucial details they let slip through the cracks. That's why I try to make people aware of the potential pitfalls of a "by the book" investigation and what it might miss--as well as who may stand a better chance of catching it.

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