• May 15, 2017

One Killed in Truck vs. Passenger Car Accident on Interstate 5 in Lakewood, WA

Lakewood, WA -- A collision between a semi-truck and a passenger car claimed the life of an unidentified person Monday, May 15, 2017.

The incident took place on Interstate 5 around 1 a.m.

According to the reports, the car was left disabled in the roadway prior to the collision. For reasons unclear, the semi-truck collided with the car, killing the driver of the passenger car at the scene of the incident.

The report made no mention of other injuries in the crash.

The investigation is ongoing.

map of the area

Commentary

If the details in the report are accurate, it looks like the car was disabled in the roadway. If this is so, that would make it difficult for the driver of the truck to make an evasive move to avoid the collision. If that's all there is to the story, it would mean it was not the truck driver's fault it's difficult to anticipate a vehicle stopped in a travel lane. However, there are factors that might make this accident a lot more complex.

When looking at the pictures of this accident in the early media reports, it doesn't appear the driver of the truck slowed down at all. The passenger vehicle occupied by the victim looks to have been almost entirely crushed by the semi-truck.

Why does this matter? It matters because even if a passenger vehicle is doing something it shouldn't--such as stopping in the center of the roadway--it's the responsibility of other drivers to slow enough to safely avoid a collision with that vehicle. The reason being is slowing down potentially reduces the severity of the damage in an accident, or prevents a collision altogether.

This means it could have been possible to make what turned out to be a fatal collision into a non-fatal collision--assuming the crash was unavoidable, of course--.

I want to be clear that I don't have any inside information regarding this particular accident, but after years of litigating commercial truck accident cases, something in that experience tells me that there could be more to this accident than what's in the news. That's why it is important that this accident is investigated by a qualified, independent investigator. The victim and their family deserve that much.

--Grossman Law Offices

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