• February 16, 2023

Nakia Merrill Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident in Desoto, TX

Desoto, TX -- February 3, 2023, Nakia Merrill was killed after an accident where his vehicle crashed along the freeway.

Investigators said that the incident happened at around 11:19 p.m. along I-35E in the area of Pleasant Run road.

Initial details about the crash said that 44-year-old Nakia Merrill was in an Infiniti traveling southbound on the freeway. Approaching an exit ramp, the vehicle somehow left its lane and crashed into the barrier.

Merrill sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash. While the exact details surrounding the cause of the crash remain unclear, I did notice something authorities mentioned which I think warrants attention. It's one of those things that rarely gets the attention it deserves: the victim's seatbelt.

Nakia Merrill Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident in Desoto, TX

An officer said they noticed the seatbelt was "locked, but had some slack in it." They said EMS workers said the driver had the waist part on but had the chest strap behind his back. Is that true?

Just to be clear, I have no specific reason to doubt that. Responders may have physically removed the belt from its original position while trying to help the victim. But it's also possible that they assumed that to be true based on how they found the victim. Did authorities ever follow up with a proper analysis from a specialist?

Something I talk about a lot on this blog is how often things like defects go overlooked due to how subtle they can be and because authorities often only look at what seems more obvious. If the seatbelt actually malfunctioned, and that contributed to a fatal wreck, shouldn't the victim's loved ones know about that?

My hope is that the authorities were thorough in their findings and simply worded it in a way that was a bit vague. If nothing else, a grieving family deserves to know they're getting the full story about what went wrong.


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