Noah Seals Killed in Auto Accident on US-421 in Decatur County, IN
Decatur County, IN — February 7, 2023, 26-year-old Noah Seals died in a collision with a dump truck on U.S. Highway 421 in Decatur County.
Authorities say the incident happened early Monday along US-421 near County Road 600 South. Preliminary investigation suggests Seals was driving a Chevy Cruze south on the highway when the vehicle allegedly went out of control and crossed over the center line. After entering the oncoming lane the car crashed nearly head-on with a northbound Mack dump truck.
Seals was fatally injured in the collision. The truck driver reportedly received minor injuries.
The investigation continues but officials say impairment is not a suspected factor.
No further information is currently available.
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. Unusual circumstances contribute to accidents all the time, but making sure investigators look into those possibilities sometimes gets challenging.
In a similar wreck not long ago, for example, police claimed a car crossed the center line and hit an 18-wheeler. When we looked again, though, forensic evidence showed the 18-wheeler crossed over first. We found out its driver fell asleep at the wheel and veered left of center, then woke up when they hit the rumble strips and swerved back into their lane—where the victim had steered to avoid a crash. He couldn't avoid the big rig again, but when police found the vehicles in the truck's lane they assumed the car crossed over. The only witness was the sleepy trucker, who didn't feel the need to correct their mistake.
To be clear, I'm not saying the US-421 accident will be mishandled or that the truck driver was somehow to blame. I'm only trying to stress the importance of letting only facts and evidence tell the story, rather than seeing a basic fact pattern and making assumptions. Preliminary reports rarely have the whole story, and the people who lose loved ones in these accidents deserve no less. I hope whoever's in charge of this investigation feels the same way.