Cody Geist Killed in Truck Accident on I-55 in McLean County, IL
McLean County, IL -- February 28, 2023, Cody Geist was killed after an accident where his vehicle crashed into a semi-trailer.
Investigators said that the crash took place at around 1:50 a.m. in the area of southbound I-55 and LaGrange Road. Their reports said 25-year-old Cody Geist was in a box truck traveling along the interstate. A semi-truck that was on the shoulder then apparently began to merge "without gaining any speed." As a result, Geist's truck rear-ended the semi.
Geist sustained fatal injuries in the crash while no others were said to be injured. Police say they are charging the semi driver for minimum speed regulation violations as well as failure to yield and improper lane usage.
Frankly, if these initial statements are accurate, I'm not at all surprised to see charges filed here. Some reports say that the semi driver pulled over on the shoulder due to a "faulty headlight." Was that really a good reason to stop on the shoulder? It's a fine enough reason to pull over, but a reasonably prudent professional would likely be able to exit the highway and pull over somewhere safer, like a rest stop or a parking lot. Creating the hazard on the side of the road to begin with seems entirely avoidable.
The fact that was apparently coupled with merging without gaining speed is just baffling to me. Why did the truck driver think it was safe to merge? Why didn't they find somewhere safer to pull over? Why didn't they gain speed before merging? Do they not go through the same training other responsible truckers do? Do they not appreciate the danger their large vehicle poses to others like others in their line of work do?
Despite how people see attorneys, I've known countless responsible truckers who would never dream of doing something as egregious as what's described here. They'd be the first to tell you that a truck driver doing something this irresponsible has likely done so before, and they likely will again if something doesn't change. Now, maybe evidence will show this is some big misunderstanding or something highly unusual that couldn't be avoided. I'm not going to blame anyone when I haven't seen the evidence for myself. That said, if for no other reason than to give a grieving family some peace of mind, there needs to be serious consideration into what changes could have prevented this awful event and how to prevent other families from suffering similar fates.