• May 11, 2017

Devin Cyr Killed, Dylan Barnes Injured in Princeton, IN, Accident

-- May 6, 2017, Devin Cyr was killed and Dylan Barnes was injured in Princeton, IN, following an accident where their vehicles were hit by an 18-wheeler.

The Indiana State Police released details surrounding the fatal crash, which they indicated happened at around 3:00 p.m. at the intersection of US Highway 41 and County Road 100.

According to investigators, 20-year-old Cyr and 22-year-old Barnes were both driving separate vehicles on southbound US 41. They were stopped at the traffic light at the time. As they waited, a southbound 18-wheeler driven by 66-year-old Kent Hayenga failed to stop and crashed into the two vehicles.

The collision was severe and inflicted critical injuries to Cyr. EMS transported him to Deaconess Hospital where he eventually succumbed to his injuries. Barnes was transported to St. Vincent Hospital in stable condition. No other injuries were reported.

Police did not indicate any particular factors contributing to the accident nor did they say if any charges or citations are being considered. No further information is currently available.

Map of the Area

Commentary

Considering the details surrounding this accident, I find it difficult to believe the truck driver wouldn't be liable for this accident. Over the years, our firm has handled several 18-wheeler accidents that played out just like this one. Most of the time, the truck driver was either speeding or distracted leading up to the crash--sometimes actions as egregious as watching YouTube on their phone while they were driving. I'm not saying for sure that something like this happened in this accident, but I wouldn't surprised if that turned out to be the case.

That being said, don't let the details fool you; nothing about commercial vehicle accidents are ever simple, regardless of the details surrounding the crash. The fact of the matter is that when a company's liability is on the line, they do anything and everything possible to get out of it. I've seen all sorts of blame-shifting tactics in my experience, and without the right preparation and evidence to counter them, victims and their families can easily be left at a disadvantage.

One common excuse victims come across in rear-end accidents is that the truck's brakes suddenly failed, leaving the driver unable to control the vehicle. Now, this may seem easy to disprove, but a lot of times victims and their families don't understand just how important it is to get the aid of an experience private investigator as soon as possible. As a result, the trucking company takes the truck back and says they've fixed the issue so the truck could be put back into service. And just like that, the claim that the brakes failed vanishes into thin air and there's no way to prove it ever existed in the first place.

I'm not implying this will happen in this accident, but it's certainly affected truck accident victims in the past. Without knowing a trucking company is capable of these tactics, those affected by an accident can easily be taken advantage of and cheated out of getting justice for their pain and loss. But for those reading this, don't let all of this intimidate you. My point here isn't to fear monger, my point is to help prepare anyone affected by such an accident. There are important steps that can be taken to prevent these blame-shifting tactics and ensure the fight for justice is fair.

The first step is have a thorough investigation conducted by an experienced professional independent of police. These professionals will ensure that each and every details is properly examined and preserved so that nothing is altered or influenced in anyway. Truck accidents can be complex, but a dedicated professional will know exactly what to look for. The next step is to have those details handled by an attorney who has experience and knows how to deal with trucking companies. That way, the evidence can be prepared in a way that will counter whatever blame-shifting excuses the trucking company decides to employ.

With the right preparation and professional assistance, victims and their families can help ensure that a negligent trucking company is held accountable for an accident. Doing so can mean the difference between a negligent driver getting off easy and a negligent driver being brought to justice.

--Grossman Law Offices

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