Dustin Marshall, Christopher Deneen Killed in Truck Accident in Bertrand Township, MI
Bertrand Township, MI -- January 9, 2023, Dustin Marshall and Christopher Deneen were killed after an accident between two semi-trucks.
Initial details given by Michigan State Police officials state that the incident happened at around 3:30 p.m. along US Highway 12 near Portage Road.
According to authorities, 46-year-old Dustin Marshall was in a westbound semi-truck hauling gasoline. From eastbound lanes, it appears a propane tanker truck driven by 35-year-old Christopher Deneen somehow lost control and veered across the median. As a result, the two trucks collided.
Both Marshall and Deneen sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash. Police said they were wearing seatbelts, but they did not confirm any additional details surrounding the crash.
Obviously something has to go very wrong for a commercial truck to veer across a median like this. Some folks may be content to just assume it must have been the result of reckless driving. That's possible, but I want to offer an alternative perspective. Over the years, many of my clients been truck drivers. An important lesson that taught me is that a deadly wreck like this is not always the truck driver's fault.
Truckers have one of the hardest jobs one can do, and it takes a lot of training, care, maintenance, and vigilance to do the job safely. As such, truckers can appreciate that there are drivers out there giving the profession a bad name who shouldn't be allowed behind the wheel of a truck. They also appreciate, however, that there are challenges they must face that we in the general public couldn't imagine dealing with on a daily basis.
What kind of condition was the truck in? Did a tire blow out? Did cargo shift suddenly? Was there debris in the road the driver couldn't avoid? Was this all the result of poor training or forcing drivers to work unsafe hours or operate shoddy equipment? Was there another reckless driver involved that left the scene? Did a medical emergency lead to the crash?
Likely or not, prudent investigators ask these questions because they know there are families out there in need of answers. If the investigators in charge of this accident aren't asking questions like these, can they really say they're getting these families the answers they deserve?