Christopher Gibbs Killed in Newark, NJ, 18-wheeler Accident
Newark, NJ -- June 1, 2017, Christopher Gibbs was fatally injured due to an accident in which he was struck by an 18-wheeler while crossing the road.
Newark Police investigators responded to the accident scene at around 11:30 p.m. at the intersection of McCarter Highway and 4th Avenue.
Preliminary investigations say that 17-year-old Gibbs was walking home after his prom. He reportedly attempted to cross traffic lanes of McCarter Highway. As he did so, an oncoming 18-wheeler failed to see him in time, striking him in the roadway.
The truck driver called for emergency services, who transported Gibbs to a local hospital in critical condition. He was later pronounced dead there.
At this time, no charges or citations have been reported. Factors surrounding the accident are currently unclear.
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It's always such a tragedy to see a young individual killed in these accidents. I think it should go without saying just how crucial it is that a thorough investigation is conducted on this accident. A lot of times when people see an accident like this one, they will automatically assume that the pedestrian wasn't paying attention when the incident happened. What people don't consider is that at a certain point, drivers still have a responsibility to avoid pedestrians when at all possible.
The question here is just how much time the truck driver had to avoid Mr. Gibbs leading up to the collision. As frank as it may sound, it's entirely possible the driver simply didn't have enough time to avoid the victim despite driving at safe speeds and paying attention to the road. On the other hand, our firm has also seen a lot of cases where the truck driver should have reasonably had enough time to either slow down or swerve to avoid the pedestrian. While it's true 18-wheelers are not as easy to maneuver as a typical passenger vehicle, there comes a point where the bulkiness of the vehicle is not an excuse for a driver's inattention.
Like I said, there's no way for me to be sure what exactly happened in this case, and I always advocate to people that the best approach to getting the full story is seeking the aid of an accident reconstructionist independent of the police. A private investigator will have years of experience and the tools necessary to looking at things like skid marks, the timing of traffic signals, data from the truck's electronic control module (which will help determine the truck's speed), and other such subtle information which police reports often miss.
Ultimately, these investigations can either produce new or more accurate information which initial reports missed, or they might simply confirm what police have already stated. In these cases, the most important thing is for the loved ones of the victim to know all of the facts of what happened. Whatever the outcome, even that bit of closure can be a welcome relief--however small--during a time of tragedy.
--Grossman Law Offices