• January 03, 2023

Gurmeet Deol Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident on SH 143 near Salina, KS

Salina, KS — January 2, 2023, 36-year-old Gurmeet Deol died in a single-vehicle 18-wheeler accident on State Highway 143 near Salina.

Authorities say the incident happened around 9:15 p.m. near the intersection of SH 143 and Old 81 Highway, north of town. Preliminary investigation suggests Deol was driving a Freightliner semi-truck east on Kansas 143 when he may have lost control for unknown reasons. The truck ran off the edge of the road and passed through the "T" intersection with Old 81, then vaulted into the east ditch on the other side.

Deol, reportedly wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

The investigation continues. No further information about the crash is currently available.

One thing I've found over the years is that folks tend to quickly blame almost any kind of single-vehicle accident on the operator. Their reasoning is that if a vehicle goes out of control then the person who lost that control must be responsible. As always, however, I discourage assuming things are really so black-and-white before a more comprehensive investigation is done.

Many things can send a truck off the road, and far from all of them are within a driver's control. For example, if the truck lost traction on water or gravel or if it had some kind of serious mechanical problem that sent it off-course, it certainly wouldn't be fair to blame an operator error.

Gurmeet Deol Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident on SH 143 near Salina, KS

I'm not trying to overcomplicate things or suggest I know something reports don't say. I'm only pointing out that the right thing to do so soon after a crash is to keep an open mind and conduct a full investigation. Hopefully police will take the time and care needed to get the whole story; the victim's loved ones deserve no less.

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