• May 24, 2017

Jay Tichelaar Killed in Johnson Creek, WI, Truck Debris Accident

Johnson Creek, WI -- May 22, 2017, Jay Tichelaar was fatally injured due to an accident where he was struck by debris that fell from an 18-wheeler.

The Wisconsin State Highway Patrol responded to the accident scene in the late hours of Monday along the eastbound lanes of I-94.

According to preliminary investigations, 51-year-old Tichelaar was driving down the interstate behind a tractor-trailer. For unknown reasons, part of the truck's brake system broke off and fell onto the roadway. The debris went through Tichelaar's windshield, struck him, and killed him. The truck in question continued on and left the scene.

At this time, the truck driver involved in this accident has yet to be located. Police say the accident is still under investigation.

Map of the Area

Commentary

First of all, I sincerely hope the truck driver involved in this tragic accident is brought to answer for what happened. Sometimes in these cases, raising public awareness of the accident can lead to the driver coming forward or at least to a mechanic or an auto shop that dealt with the driver. They can connect the dots between the broken part that caused the accident and a truck driver that recently bought a replacement part or got the vehicle fixed and give the necessary details to authorities. This can help lead to the location of the truck driver and the answers which are crucial to determining exactly what happened. For the sake of those affected, I hope that's the case in this particular accident.

The second thing I'd like to address is the fact that many reports keep calling this a, "freak accident." I'll agree this is a very uncommon series of events, but calling it a freak accident implies that it was unavoidable or unpredictable. The fact of the matter is that parts don't just suddenly fall off of vehicles; there's a reason this happened. An accident like this isn't going to happen when someone drives a new vehicle off the dealership lot. 99% of the time, these incidents happen due to a driver failing to maintain their vehicle.

Every driver has a duty to ensure their vehicle is in proper working condition. Whether it's to save money or the result of ignorance, drivers often neglect to address issues with their vehicle and put off getting necessary repairs. The problem is that the ultimate cost of such decisions can be the life of an innocent person. Plain and simple, if someone's failure to maintain their vehicle results in a mechanical breakdown that harms another person, then they can be held liable for those damages. The law recognizes the danger of a neglected vehicle and provides the tools with which victims and their families can hold the responsible motorist accountable for their actions.

Again, it's crucial that the truck driver involved in this accident either comes forward or is found through the efforts of the community. Once this is done, there needs to be a thorough investigation to determine how this tragedy could have been avoided and exactly why it wasn't. Hopefully, doing so will allow those affected to get justice for their loss.

--Grossman Law Offices

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