Darlene Crawford Killed in Paragould, AR, 18-wheeler Accident
Paragould, AR -- May 23, 2017, Darlene Crawford was killed due to an accident in which her vehicle somehow collided head-on with an 18-wheeler.
According to reports released by the Arkansas State Police Department, the fatal crash took place at around 11:30 a.m. along US Highway 412.
Police officials reported that 76-year-old Crawford was driving along the eastbound lanes of US 412 in a 2011 Ford. The vehicle somehow lost control and entered oncoming traffic lanes. It crashed into the guardrail and was soon after struck head-on by an oncoming 18-wheeler.
Crawford was fatally injured in the collision. Medical officials pronounced her dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.
Police have not yet determined the factors contributing to the accident.
Map of the Area
I think that an accident like this necessitates further investigations by an industry professional independent of the police. First of all, there's not guarantee that the preliminary police report is complete or accurate. For example, I've seen many police reports where a simple typo changed the entire landscape of the crash. After all, they tend to phrase things as, "Vehicle 1 crossed over and struck Vehicle 2." Just a simple mix-up of which vehicle was which can paint victims as the ones at fault and vice versa.
But let's assume that the report has no mistakes; that still doesn't answer why this accident happened. One issue these accidents often face is that people tend to assume that the driver was the reason the vehicle lost control. This could certainly be the case--speeding, texting, intoxicated driving, etc.--but it's not fair to jump to conclusions without any sort of evidence, no matter how common the factors may be.
Tire blowouts, road hazards, mechanical defects, and other such causes can make a vehicle lose control with little to no warning. Think of the upwards of 100 people who were killed as the result of GM's fatal ignition switch defect. This issue wasn't discovered until families had private investigators look into the accidents. In the meantime, just imagine how many people assumed the driver was drunk or speeding. It just goes to show that no matter what the police report says, unless you're looking at tangible evidence, there's no way to know for sure what happened.
Why did the vehicle lose control? Did the 18-wheeler have enough time to avoid the accident? If so, why didn't it? Did the vehicle's safety features function properly? All of these questions and more are absolutely crucial to those most affected by this tragic incident. Having the accident looked at by an experienced professional is an effective way of answering these questions and gathering facts surrounding the crash. These investigations can reveal new information, correct mistaken details, or even confirm what police have already said. Regardless of the outcome, sometimes just knowing the full story of what occurred can provide much needed closure during a time of tragedy.
--Grossman Law Offices