Otis Love Killed in St. Francis County, AR, 18-wheeler Accident
St. Francis County, AR -- January 6, 2017, Otis Love was killed following an accident in which his pickup collided with an 18-wheeler.
The Arkansas State Police released an accident report concerning the fatal crash. The report indicates that the wreck occurred around 9:45 a.m. near the 254 Mile Marker on I-40.
The preliminary investigation states that 46-year-old Love was driving a Ford F-150 westbound on the interstate. As he drove, the vehicle somehow lost control, sending the pickup into a concrete barrier. The vehicle then careened from the outside lane to the inside lane, striking another concrete barrier before swerving again back into traffic lanes.
Sometime after this incident, a westbound 18-wheeler did not avoid the pickup in time and crashed into Love's vehicle. Love sustained fatal injuries in the collision and was pronounced dead at the scene.
It's not exactly clear what factors led to the accident, though police reports say the roads were wet and snowy at the time. Their investigations are ongoing.
Map of the Area
Looking at the details for this accident, there's definitely an indication that weather conditions may have played a large role in the crash. That being said, investigations are still in the early stages, and there's no way to be sure before reports are complete. Something to always consider after an 18-wheeler accident is that all surrounding context must be considered before conclusions are drawn, and any determinations made before investigations are complete are nothing more than conjecture.
One detail that is crucial in this particular accident is the collision between the pickup and the 18-wheeler. Chances are this is the collision that inflicted fatal injuries to Mr. Love, not the collisions with the side barriers. If that is in fact the case, the most pertinent question would be how much time the truck driver had to react before hitting Mr. Love's vehicle.
If it was a matter of seconds, it's entirely reasonable that a truck driver couldn't avoid the accident. Icy conditions mixed with a heavy commercial vehicle equals very little reaction time, no matter how attentive the driver is. However, if investigations revealed that a significant amount of time passed between the initial and the second collision, then it's possible the truck driver could be held liable. Mr. Love's vehicle may have lost control and hit the barricade, but investigators must be sure to determine if the truck driver had enough time to avoid the crashed pickup. While it is certainly difficult to make evasive maneuvers in an 18-wheeler, drivers still must take all possible actions to avoid hitting someone.
Our firm has seen several truck accidents in the past which began as a non-fatal accident that put a vehicle in the path of an 18-wheeler. In some of those cases, the truck drivers were speeding, not paying attention, and sometimes even intoxicated or impaired, leaving them unable to react in time. Had they been behaving responsibly, they could have avoided the accident and saved someone's life.
Whether or not this is something that occurred in this case remains to be seen. Ensuring that an investigation is conducted by an experienced professional, all of the crucial details can be examined thoroughly to determine what exactly occurred during this accident. This is always a necessary step for victims and their families to take the next steps forward after a truck accident.
--Grossman Law Offices