• March 13, 2023

Ricky Batten Killed in 18-wheeler Accident in Chesapeake, VA

Chesapeake, VA -- March 10, 2023, Ricky Batten was killed following an accident where his vehicle crashed into a tractor-trailer.

Authorities said that the incident happened at the I-664 and I-64 interchange. It appears that 59-year-old Ricky Batten was in a tractor-trailer going eastbound. For reasons unclear, Batten's vehicle went onto the shoulder. There, it crashed into the back of another tractor-trailer which was parked as the driver slept, according to officials.

Due to the collision, Batten sustained fatal injuries. It appears the other driver was charged for sleeping in their truck along the interstate. This and other details remain under investigation.

Obviously there needs to be consideration for why the victim's vehicle went onto the shoulder. But it's a bit surprising to see reports say that the driver parked on the shoulder is actually facing consequences for stopping for a reason as ridiculous as sleeping. It's a problem I talk about a lot on this blog. Shoulders are meant for emergencies. While most responsible truckers understand that, some see it as a free parking space to fill out logs, eat, sleep, or otherwise unnecessarily create a deadly hazard along a freeway.

Consider, for example, the possibility the victim here was experiencing an emergency of some kind. If they were to veer to the shoulder in order to stop safely so no one else gets hurt, they wouldn't necessarily expect someone else to be there unless they were clearly visible and there for an appropriate reason. If someone were to find a rest area to stop instead of pulling to the shoulder, it could mean that someone who otherwise would have crashed into them makes it onto the shoulder without incident.

So what would have happened here? What would have happened if there was a truck driver involved in this crash that understood how dangerous it would be to pull over onto the shoulder just to get some sleep? Would they have budgeted their time appropriately such that they wouldn't feel the need to do something so irresponsible in the first place? There are a lot of questions here, and there's a family out there that deserves to hear some answers.

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