Marilyn Mayo, Emma Thomas Killed in Salina, KS, Truck Accident
Salina, KS -- March 8, 2017, Marilyn Mayo and Emma Thomas were killed following an accident in which their vehicle was hit by an 18-wheeler.
Authorities from the Kansas State Police responded to the accident scene in the afternoon hours of Wednesday. It happened near the intersection of I-135 and Centennial Road.
Their preliminary reports state that an 18-wheeler was traveling northbound along the interstate. For reasons unclear, the 18-wheeler crossed over the median into southbound lanes. It crashed into a car being driven by 63-year-old Mayo. In an attempt to avoid the 18-wheeler, Mayo's car struck a Kansas Department of Transportation vehicle. The 18-wheeler continued off-road down an embankment.
As a result of the collision, Mayo and her passenger, 96-year-old Thomas, suffered critical injuries. Both were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment but eventually died. The driver of the KDOT vehicle was also taken to a hospital with non-critical injuries. No one in the truck was harmed.
Authorities did not say what factors caused the accident. Their investigations are ongoing.
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As a truck accident injury attorney, the subject matter of my work is never easy to deal with. Truck accidents are among the most gruesome accidents that anyone is likely to see outside of a trauma ward or a combat zone. Most people think that the emotional torment of these accidents fades over time, but certain trucking company defenses have a way of re-opening wounds and causing a lot of bitterness.
There's a very common, but distasteful, defense a trucking company will use in an accident like this. Whenever a person of advanced age is wrongfully killed in an accident, defendants often try to reduce the amount of damages they're on the hook for by saying that the victims weren't going to live that much longer anyway. This may sound crass, but for the elderly, most types of damages no longer apply. In wrongful death cases that involve adults, the largest portion of the award is often loss of income and future earnings. For the elderly, most, if not all, of their income has already been earned. This means that most of the damages will be of a more subjective nature.
Think of it this way, if I'm seriously ill and likely to die next month, the amount of time taken from me is far less than if I was healthy and likely to live another 40 years. Juries take this into account. These arguments can be particularly painful for those who have just lost a loved-one to hear.
That being said, I don't believe that just because a truck driver recklessly took the life of an elderly person that an insurance company should get a discount. Most people of sense and decency have a natural tenderness for our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Respect for those who have come before us and paved our way is just one reason why trucking companies need to be held accountable for their actions and why the surviving family deserves justice.
--Grossman Law Offices