Gary Sawyer Killed in Truck Accident in Greene County, MO
Greene County, MO -- February 11, 2023, Gary Sawyer was killed following an accident where his vehicle crashed with a semi-truck.
Investigators with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said that the incident happened at around 4:22 a.m. along Highway 360 just outside of Republic.
It appears that 74-year-old Gary Sawyer was in a Ford Taurus traveling westbound along the highway. Ahead, it appears a semi-truck somehow became disabled on the roadway while attempting to make a u-turn. Sawyer's vehicle crashed into the side of the semi, sustained fatal injuries as a result.
Right now, additional details about the crash are unavailable.
To be blunt, there are almost no scenarios in which attempting a u-turn like this in a commercial vehicle is acceptable. But doing so early in the morning while it's dark out on a relatively rural highway is just unthinkable. It's one thing to ask why the truck somehow became disabled while turning—did it get stuck, or was it just the worst timing in the world? But regardless of that, what kind of truck driver even attempts such a maneuver?
Frankly, I've known many trucking companies that would fire a driver for attempting something like this, successfully or not. Any experienced trucker can attest to the fact that u-turns in commercial vehicles are inherently dangerous and almost always unnecessary. Even when they are necessary, responsible companies will have co-workers with the driver who will be able to flag down traffic with high visibility equipment to make absolutely sure they can maneuver safely.
Maybe these early reports are leaving out a lot of important information, but I don't see any scrap of evidence at this time to suggest that the truck driver took any kind of precautions to prevent a deadly wreck. In fact, my experience with similar incidents makes me wonder if there were direct mistakes that led to a man losing his life. Not only does a family deserve answers about this awful event, they deserve to know that any mistakes that took their loved one from them are going to get attention from the proper authorities.