• May 24, 2017

Evelyn Bonnett Killed in St. Matthews, SC, Truck Accident

St. Matthews, SC -- May 23, 2017, Evelyn Bonnett was killed as the result of an accident where she was hit by an 18-wheeler on the highway.

According to preliminary details released by the South Carolina State Highway Patrol, the incident occurred in the afternoon hours of Tuesday along Old State Road/US Highway 176.

Police reported that 36-year-old Edwin Snyder was driving an 18-wheeler along southbound lanes. The 18-wheeler reportedly crossed over the center line into northbound lanes, colliding into 55-year-old Bonnett.

Bonnett was critically injured in the collision and died at the scene. Snyder was taken to a local hospital in stable condition.

Police did not report any charges or citations resulting from the accident. Their investigations are ongoing.

Map of the Area

Commentary

Typically, when reports say that an 18-wheeler crossed into oncoming traffic, people tend to assume that the trucking company will automatically be held liable for the accident. The unfortunate reality is that things don't actually work that way, and a combative company can still fight to avoid liability after an accident. But there are very few reasons that truck could cross over the center line and not be at fault--so how does a trucking company succeed in these cases?

After nearly 30 years of dealing with trucking companies, I've seen all sorts of blame-shifting tactics that are employed in order to cheat victims and their families out of justice that they deserve. For example, one excuse our firm ha seen multiple times is the "sudden brake failure" defense. The trucking company basically claims that the truck lost its brakes all of a sudden, therefore the driver couldn't be expected to control the truck. The trucking company then fixes the non-existent problem and puts the truck back into service. All the sudden, there's no way to prove whether or not the brake failure ever occurred in the first place.

But how can such a flimsy argument work in a trucking company's favor? When it comes to taking an accident to a civil trial, the fact of the matter is that a bad defense with bad evidence can defeat a good theory of liability with no evidence. Many times, victims don't realize just how crucial it is to have the accident looked at by a professional as soon as possible. Families affected by these tragedies need time to grieve, and that's perfectly understandable. The grim reality, however, is that trucking companies are working to tip the scales in their favor from the minute they get the call about the accident.

This is why I always advocate that people affected by truck accidents as quickly as possible. The sooner an experienced investigator looks at the details surrounding the accident, the less time a trucking company has to hide, destroy, or otherwise influence evidence in their favor. This way, victims and their families can uncover and preserve the evidence necessary to holding these trucking companies fully accountable for their actions. Trucking companies fight hard to avoid liability after these accidents, no matter how much harm it puts on victims and their loved ones. Bringing them to justice requires experience, evidence, and diligence. This is well within reach for those affected by such tragedies, but time is of the essence.

--Grossman Law Offices

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