Melissia Bolyer Killed in Tractor-Trailer Accident in Bienville Parish, LA
Bienville Parish, LA — February 2, 2023, Melissia Bolyer was killed due to an accident on Highway 507 for which a tractor-trailer driver now faces charges.
Authorities said that the incident happened at around 10:30 a.m. along Highway 507 in the area of Highway 9.
Initial details said that 40-year-old Melissia Bolyer was in a Nissan Versa traveling along Highway 507. It appears an International tractor-trailer was westbound on the highway when it somehow crossed the center line and crashed into an oncoming 18-wheeler. The International truck then crashed with Bolyer's Nissan.
Due to the crash, Melissia Bolyer sustained fatal injuries. One other person was injured. As of April 17, authorities have arrested the driver of the International truck. The driver faces charges including vehicular homicide, reckless operation, and possession of marijuana. This and other factors are still under investigation.
In the coming weeks and months, there may be more information about what exactly led to these charges. Obviously, doing something that causes a deadly crash is worth consequences, but the nature of the exact actions can have vastly different implications. So what exactly was it that led to this crash?
For example, reckless operation in Louisiana seems to include behavior that is "criminally negligent or reckless." Some would likely deem that a driver watching Youtube videos on their phone would be criminally negligent. That's obviously dangerous, and it can clearly result in serious harm. But what about a truck driver texting and driving because their supervisor was harassing them and demanding they respond? Well, that's exactly what happened in a situation I handled not long ago.
This driver worked for a supervisor who would constantly text and call their employees throughout the day. Instead of leaving the drivers to do their jobs, the supervisor micromanaged everything. If the drivers didn't respond right away, they'd get in trouble, and they risked losing their jobs. Inevitably, this led to a serious accident.
Now, did that situation excuse the truck driver for texting and driving? Not at all. However, it was clear that just punishing the driver wouldn't have been enough to address the real underlying issue. There would need to be more thorough actions taken to ensure that reckless supervisor cleaned up their act before their behavior got more people hurt. That's not likely something simple charges against a driver would address.
So when I read about this terrible event, I can't help wondering what it is authorities believe happened here. It's obviously important that a driver accused of being reckless gets their day in court. But if there is more to this story, the woman's grieving loved ones deserve to know steps are being taken to address those issues appropriately.