Viengkhone Nguyen, Lea Khamphachanh Killed, 3 Injured in Loose Truck Tire Accident in St. Michael, MN
St. Michael, MN — October 21, 2023, Viengkhone Nguyen and Lea Khamphachanh were killed and three were hurt in a truck accident at 4:49 p.m. on I-94.
Authorities said in preliminary statements that the fatal accident occurred in the area of Highway 241. State Police officials say 44-year-old Viengkhone Nguyen, 43-year-old Lea Khamphachanh, 38-year-old Phetsamai Khamphachanh, 28-year-old Tiana Deppa, and 45-year-old Pane Eisenschenk were in an SUV going eastbound on the interstate.
It appears that a westbound tractor-trailer "lost" two of its tires, and they went into oncoming lanes where they struck the SUV. Due to this, Nguyen and Lea Khamphachanh both sustained fatal injuries. Phetsamai Khamphachanh, Deppa, and Eisenschenk all had reportedly non-life-threatening injuries.
Currently, there are no additional details about the crash available, and authorities do not report any charges or citations. Investigations are ongoing, but people may not realize just how complex the investigations can be with a loose truck wheel accident.
One has to consider there are multiple possible parties that can have a hand in a wheel coming off a truck, since it's almost always the result of poor maintenance, improper usage, or some kind of defect. That means investigator would have to look into the manufacturers of the parts that make up the wheel assembly, service shops the truck went through, the company that owns the truck who's responsible for maintaining their vehicles, and even the driver if they failed to catch the issue during routine pre-trip checks.
In my experience, authorities rarely ever investigate all of those potential culprits. And what happens when time and resources aren't put into all of those different possibilities? It usually means the family isn't getting the whole story. That just doesn't sit right with me.