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“I have been prosecuting serious injury and wrongful death cases against trucking companies, auto makers and tire manufacturers for more than 30 years. Our firm maintains this blog to share information and insight on transportation safety issues that continue to arise on our nation’s highways and roads.”

James Lee Hartman struck, killed by semi-truck in Ohio

CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio — James Lee Hartman, a 47-year-old Springboro man, was killed Nov. 8 while walking on northbound Interstate 75 near the I-675 exit.

A 2019 Freightliner Cascadia, driven by 28-year-old Goram Crvenkovic, struck and killed Hartman at about 9 a.m. in the right northbound lane, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Hartman was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. First responders transported Crvenkovic to Sycamore Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening. He is a resident of Quebec, Canada.

Authorities have not released any insight into why Hartman was walking the interstate, but Miami Township Police and state troopers investigating the accident placed markers near a blue car at the scene that he may have exited, according to a local news article. Markers were also placed near the semi truck.

Officials have not released any additional information about the crash investigation or condition of Crvenkovic.

COMMENTARY ON THE JAMES LEE HARMAN ACCIDENT IN CLERMONT COUNTY

I am troubled to learn of Mr. Hartman’s untimely death. His life was taken suddenly and unexpectedly, decades prior to his normal life expectancy. It appears from the news report that he may have been walking from a vehicle parked near the scene of the accident. Perhaps he had incurred car trouble and was going to get help. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones who will have to grieve while navigating a complex international legal web involving Canada and the United States.

Pedestrian fatalities reportedly skyrocketed during 2020. Although COVID-19 restrictions reduced the number of miles driven during the year, there was a “shocking and unprecedented 21% increase” in pedestrians struck and killed, according to a recent study from the Governors Highway Safety Association. That figure represents the largest increase in pedestrian fatalities since 1975, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began keeping records. 

According to this same study, alcohol impairment was a contributing factor in nearly half of these accidents. However, considering the accident occurred at 9:30 a.m., fairly early in the morning, it is unlikely that alcohol was involved in this particular tragedy. The news report did not indicate that authorities had found any evidence of alcohol use. A thorough investigation of the mishap will be needed to determine the exact elements that contributed tot he crash and cost Mr. Hartman his life.

With the recent rapid increase in pedestrian fatalities, I’d like to point out that there are several things you can do to ensure safety when a vehicle breaks down on the interstate. It is wise to pull your vehicle off the shoulder as far as possible and turn on the hazard lights. Immediately call for help. Get out of the vehicle if it is safe or if weather conditions permit and place flares or other emergency notification 20-30 yards behind your vehicle to notify other drivers of your dilemma. If it is not safe to get out of the vehicle, remain in the vehicle with your seatbelt fastened until help arrives. If it is safe to get out of the vehicle, move to the other side of the barrier, if one exists, but stay with the vehicle until help arrives. Following these precautions will save lives.

Even when following safety precautions, pedestrians are routinely killed by distracted and negligent drivers. I have worked on numerous pedestrian accident cases over the last 30 years in my profession as a personal injury attorney, having represented many families in almost identical circumstances. Nevertheless, I will continue to do what I can to raise awareness about pedestrian safety. If my efforts save even one life, then it is worth it.

Disclaimer: All of the information contained within this post was compiled from public sources or constitutes the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if you identify any false or misleading information.

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