Jena Christine Hester Killed in Ashley County, AR, Truck Accident
Ashley County, AR -- February 27, 2017, Jena Christine Hester was killed following an accident where her vehicle and an 18-wheeler crashed head-on.
Investigators from the Arkansas State Police reported that the accident happened around 1:00 p.m. near the intersection of US 82 and County Road 121.
According to a preliminary accident report, 38-year-old Hester was driving a Lincoln eastbound along US 82. The report claims that her vehicle crossed over the center traffic line into westbound lanes. The car crossed paths with an oncoming 18-wheeler, and they crashed head-on.
As a result of the collision, Hester was killed at the scene of the accident. The truck driver was not injured in the crash.
Authorities did not suggest what factors were involved in the accident. Their investigations are ongoing.
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If you look at the police report for this accident, things seem pretty straight forward. It essentially boils down to, "Hester's vehicle crossed the center line and hit the 18-wheeler." The problem here is two-fold. Not only is there no guarantee the police report is accurate, there's almost no truck accident that is simple.
Police investigators can range from very experienced to relatively new at examining accident scenes. Most police reports will say something like, "V1 hit V2." When details are so bare, something as simple as a typo could change the entire landscape of the report. They may say one driver failed to stop at a signal when in fact it was the other driver. This doesn't happen all the time, but our firm has talked to people who thought they wouldn't have a case because the police report put them at fault.
The best way to ensure this doesn't happen is to have a thorough, independent investigation conducted. This will make sure that all crucial details are looked at and preserved for future use. Many times, this will confirm what police reports said in the first place, and those affected by the accident can at least rest easy knowing the full story. Sometimes, however, these investigations can uncover new evidence or correct inaccurate information.
Another advantage of having this tangible evidence at hand is that it can be used in the event that a trucking company involved in the accident becomes combative. Trucking companies usually have a lot on the line when one of their drivers is involved in a fatal accident. Regardless of whether or not they're at fault, I've seen a lot truck accidents where the company will send a defense lawyer to the scene just minutes after the accident. There have been times these companies have lied to investigators, tampered with evidence, and done everything they could to ensure the scales were tipped into their favor.
This isn't every trucking company, of course. I've encountered plenty of respectable trucking companies over the years. The problem is that many people don't realize they're dealing with a disreputable company until they've already done significant damage to the case. By having irrefutable evidence, however, these blame-shifting, underhanded tactics can be effectively countered. It's not easy to think about such things after a tragic accident, but the harsh reality is that without the right experience and preparation, people can easily be taken advantage of by predatory trucking companies.
--Grossman Law Offices