Branden David Lampman Killed in Truck Accident in Kidder Township, PA
Carbon County, PA — November 3, 2023, Branden David Lampman was killed following a dump truck accident at around noon along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Preliminary investigations from Pennsylvania State Police show the crash happened along northbound lanes of I-476 near the exit for Jim Thorpe.
According to current information in the news, 36-year-old Branden David Lampman was in a car that was traveling through a construction zone where lanes were merging. Authorities say they believe Lampman's car became disabled in the construction traffic, and it came to a stop. While there, it appears a dump truck crashed into the back of Lampman's vehicle.
Lampman sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision. There did not appear to be any other injuries associated with the crash. Right now, details about potential charges or citations are unclear pending investigations.
My hope is that authorities describing this construction zone in detail is a sign they're being thorough in their investigations. I mention this because I've found that people read about a rear-end collision and just assume everything is open-and-shut and that the rear driver is automatically going to be held responsible. In reality, there are always roadblocks between a serious crash and getting to the truth of why it happened. Overcoming those roadblocks means anticipating them as soon as possible.
A few thoughts that occurred to me as I was reading, for instance, were how well marked this construction zone was, was it properly designed, and would any reasonably prudent truck driver have been able to see and avoid the victim's car. I don't say this because I believe the construction zone had something to do with the fatal crash (though it's a possibility any experienced accident reconstructionist would consider). On the contrary, an outside party like a construction company is a prime target for someone to shift blame onto if they're hoping to avoid responsibility for a crash. It's an all too common tactic, yet I find it takes a lot of people off-guard.
I had this case a while back, for example, in which a truck driver who was under the influence of drugs rear-ended a driver in traffic (to be clear, I have no reason at this time to suspect any intoxicants led to this particular fatal crash). My clients were surprised that I wasn't treating the situation like a walk in the park. I cautioned them that there truly are no simple commercial truck accidents, and my warnings were soon confirmed.
Despite police charging their driver for driving under the influence of drugs, the truck driver's employer actually denied responsibility for the crash. Why? According to them, it wasn't the drugs that caused the crash; it was a nearby ambulance whose lights were too bright.
That's as ridiculous a defense as it sounds, but I've seen some inexperienced attorneys scoff at seemingly ludicrous defenses only to have those defenses hold water because there were no steps taken to counter them. That's why we took the time to look into the emergency service departments in the area until we found the one that had a unit near the crash site at the time the collision occurred. That company's records proved the ambulance was nearly a mile down the road from where the crash occurred and couldn't possibly have blinded anyone.
I've seen enough examples like this that few things can ever surprise. When I read about devastating wrecks like this one, I can't help considering all the different obstacles that could stand between the victims and families and them getting a proper resolution.
Considering those obstacles have always been easiest to overcome when authorities are already being thorough, my hope is authorities handling this crash are recording as much information as possible. Even if something may not seem important now, there's no being too thorough when bringing the truth to light.