An unusual article in the Alton Telegraph caught my eye as a southern Illinois trucking accident attorney. According to the Dec. 18 article, a witness to a fatal crash between a car and a tractor-trailer called the newspaper to dispute the official law enforcement account, which put the blame on the driver of the car. Joshua Headrick, 19, was killed Dec. 17 when he proceeded straight through an intersection and into a semi truck turning left into a quarry. The resulting crash caused an explosion that killed Headrick. The truck jackknifed, but its unidentified driver was not injured.
Walters is a member of the Madison County Board, executive director of the Southern Illinois Industrial Association and a former insurance claims adjuster. He said he was waiting to make a left turn when Headrick drove by in his side of the road, then hit the left-turning truck. Both men had green lights, said Walters, but he was waiting to make sure traffic was clear before turning. Walters said Headrick was driving five to ten mph above the speed limit, but that this was not unusual for the area. And two other trucks in line to turn didn’t move, Walters said, suggesting that they didn’t have a green arrow. Under those circumstances, he told the Telegraph, “It was completely the truck’s fault[.]” However, the Alton Police Department initially assigned the blame to Headrick based on other witness accounts. The police department declined to comment.
As a St. Louis big rig accident lawyer, I think this is powerful evidence that things are more complicated than they may initially have seemed to the police. I would be interested to know who the other witnesses are who implicated Headrick for the crash, and what their angles of vision might have been. The issue of who was at fault for the accident is important, because if police decide the truck driver was at fault after all, there will be important financial consequences for both parties. Not only could the truck driver face professional consequences, but Headrick’s family could have a strong claim in any lawsuit they choose to pursue. Depending on the circumstances, the truck driver, his or her trucking company and even the quarry could all be held legally and financially responsible for this terrible crash.
In a crash between a large truck and a smaller car, the occupants of the smaller car always lose. That’s true regardless of who was at fault or even who hit whom, which is why tractor-trailer accidents are some of the most devastating traffic accidents. Carey, Danis & Lowe is proud to represent clients who have lost loved ones or sustained serious injuries in semi truck crashes caused by someone else’s carelessness. Our Missouri commercial truck crash attorneys use accident reports, witnesses like Walters, expert witnesses and more to prove these complicated cases to juries. Many of our trucking accident clients come to us after they’ve suffered not only a loss in the family or a serious injury, but also the financial strain that comes with losing an income unexpectedly. In these cases, we can help clients claim payments not only for their injuries and losses, but also for the high past and future medical bills and lost income they may face.
Carey, Danis & Lowe offers free consultations to all potential clients, so you have nothing to lose by telling us more about your case and learning about your options. To set up a no-pressure case evaluation, please send a message through our Web site or call 1-877-678-3400 toll-free.