DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — Heather Timmins, 48, and her 10-year-old son, Atticus, were tragically killed Oct. 31 in an accident on Interstate 15 near Farmington.
The accident happened after a Utah Department of Transportation Incident Management Team (UDOT IMT) truck stopped just before 6 p.m. to assist a motorist on I-15 southbound, according to a local news report.
Timmins and her son were traveling two lanes left of the emergency shoulder on I-15 when the vehicle swerved to the right for unknown reasons, crossed into the lane adjacent to the emergency shoulder, and struck the rear of the IMT truck at a high rate of speed.
Timmins died on impact and her son, Atticus, later succumbed to injuries after first responders’ flew him to a local children’s hospital. The IMT truck driver suffered from minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital, where he was quickly treated and released.
The motorist who the IMT driver stopped to help was not injured in the accident.
Police have yet to determine what caused Timmins’ car to swerve and an investigation into the accident is ongoing. No additional information has been released.
COMMENTARY ON HEATHER TIMMINS' ACCIDENT
I am deeply disturbed to learn of the awful crash that claimed the life of Ms. Timmins and her young son, Atticus. Both of their lives abruptly ended so far ahead of their life expectancy.
As you might guess, the accident rate involving roadside assistance is very high when compared to all other industries. One study indicates the on-the-job risk is nearly 15 times higher than in other sectors. This is a tragic statistic, considering this type of accident is usually preventable. Motorists need only to slow down and move over when approaching a stopped vehicle on the roadside.
It is unclear as to why Ms. Timmins failed to observe these simple procedures. The report indicates that she was traveling at a high rate of speed and crossed lanes toward the stopped vehicle, rather than away from it. As the report suggests, details are too scant to speculate the exact cause of the mishap. However, if factors outside driver error is at play, it is critical to discover these defects to ensure the defects are remedied in the future. A thorough investigation will be needed to make that determination.
I have worked on numerous cases very similar to this one over the last 30 years in my profession as a personal injury attorney. I continue to be amazed at the fortitude, courage, and strength displayed by those left behind to struggle through the personal challenges of suddenly losing a loved one—in this case two loved ones--while simultaneously trying to navigate the legal jungle they are unexpectedly thrust into.
I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Timmins’ family and their loved ones.
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