• March 15, 2023

16-year-old Killed in Tractor-Trailer Accident on US 50 in Garden City, KS

Garden City, KS -- March 13, 2023, a 16-year-old girl was killed due to an accident where a tractor-trailer crashed into her vehicle.

Investigators said that the incident happened at around 4:15 p.m. along US 50 in the area of North Campus Drive.

It appears that a 16-year-old girl was in a Fiat traveling eastbound on the highway. Authorities say that an oncoming tractor-trailer somehow went into the eastbound lane and crashed into the teenager's vehicle.

As a result of the collision, the teen driver sustained fatal injuries. The truck driver was said to have minor injuries. Right now, the exact cause of the crash remains unconfirmed.

cassandra linder in Tractor-Trailer Accident on US 50 in Garden City, KS

When the facts are as unclear as they are here, I always encourage caution, since people are often too quick to jump to conclusions. But frankly, as a father, it's challenging to keep a level head hearing about a kid losing their life due to circumstances completely beyond their control. What's worse, though, is that the crash involved a chain of events that is often the direct result of someone making a mistake. Is this going to be one of those situations?

Having handled hundreds of commercial vehicle wrecks, I've seen plenty examples of a truck crossing into oncoming traffic due to unusual and sometimes unavoidable reasons. Tire blowouts, road hazards, medical emergencies—devastating as it is, sometimes accidents just happen.

But more commonly, the possible reasons a truck goes across the center line or a median are things like cell phone usage, distractions in the vehicle, speeding, poor tire maintenance, fatigue, and even intoxication. Not only are there drivers out there that don't respect the responsibility they have as a professional truck driver, but there are plenty of companies that knowingly employ irresponsible drivers, encourage reckless driving practices, or who are so inept that they allow dangerous behavior to persist until it gets someone killed.

So what happened here, then? Why was a family's child stolen from them? Was it an unavoidable tragedy, or did someone's actions kill a child who had her whole life ahead of her? Did this involve circumstances that may still be putting others in danger? Garden City locals are no doubt asking these same questions, and but it's the family that deserves answers here. I can only hope the authorities understand that getting them those answers needs to be their top priority.


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