• November 16, 2023

Robert Cox Killed, 1 Injured in Truck Accident in Oak Grove, MO

Oak Grove, MO — November 15, 2023, Robert Cox was killed and one person was injured in a truck accident around 2:00 p.m. along Interstate 70.

According to reports, Robert Cox—age 28—and a 72-year-old man were traveling in a westbound Ford SUV along I-70 in the area of Adams Dairy Drive east of Blue Springs and near Grain Valley when the accident occurred.

Allegedly, traffic was moving slowly when, for unknown reasons, an 18-wheeler rear-ended the Ford Robert Cox was riding in, causing the vehicle to then crash into the guardrail. The 18-wheeler then proceeded to rear-end another semi truck. Both the 72-year-old man and Robert Cox were severely injured as a result of the crash, reports say. They were transported to a local medical facility by emergency medical services where Cox was later declared deceased. The condition and identity of the other victim have not been made public.

Robert Cox Killed, 1 Injured in Truck Accident in Oak Grove, MO

The causal factors of the accident are still under investigation. Pending those details, I certainly wouldn't jump to any conclusions about what happened here. But if folks were to assume the truck that hit traffic did so due to speeding, following too closely, or distracted driving, they'd be right nine times out of ten. This could certainly be a crash caused by unusual or unavoidable circumstances, but odds are not in the favor of the driver who rear-ended traffic being blameless. But even if a reckless driver caused this crash, it's important to know the whole story rather than putting all of the blame on the first mistake investigations uncover.

Let me explain why I say this. A lot of these rear-end collisions result in charges or citations for the driver who rear-ended traffic, and folks often think that's where the investigations end. But continuing the investigations can reveal factors that simply charging a single driver wouldn't be able to address on its own, such as a pattern of reckless behavior that could continue if left unchallenged.

For example, I handled a truck accident case not long ago where a truck driver was facing charges because he had been driving for over 20 hours straight leading up to the crash—far beyond federal limits. Authorities were content to put all of their focus on the driver, but I wanted to know more about this driver's history and his employer. That's how my team and I uncovered serious problems that authorities hadn't addressed.

It turned out the driver was being reckless because his employer was offering financial incentives to drivers who would get as much work done as fast as they possibly could. In other words, they were paying their drivers to break the rules and cut corners. Well, those rules exist to keep people safe—including the truck drivers themselves. By incentivizing reckless driving, that company more or less made it inevitable someone would get hurt, which is exactly what happened. Allowing them to continue such reckless behavior unchecked would make it inevitable that people would continue to get hurt.

I'm not trying to say I suspect anything like that happened here. I'm looking at the same reports as anyone else in the public. Could it be this was just an isolated incident of a reckless driver on their phone? Of course. Could it be the inevitable result of reckless business practices? Certainly. Could details come to light that show the truck driver who hit traffic had no way of avoiding the collision? Absolutely. That all is going to depend on what the evidence ultimately says. It's just important to consider where that evidence might be and whether or not authorities are looking in the right places.

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