CLARK COUNTY, Ohio — Michael W. Stevenson, a 54-year-old man from Westerville, Ohio, tragically died Feb. 10 after his vehicle struck a broken down commercial vehicle on Interstate 70.
Stevenson was driving a 2021 Subaru Ascent that hit the right rear of a flatbed trailer on a broken down 2007 Sterling commercial truck in the center lane around 10:40 a.m. The flatbed truck was reportedly disabled because of equipment failure.
Local officials said the impact of the collision drove the SUV into a ravine off of the right side of the interstate.
Stevenson was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Emergency personnel treated the truck driver, 40-year-old Corey D. Hill, of Marion, Ohio, for minor injuries.
Authorities are actively investigating the accident. No additional information has been released.
Commentary on the Accident in Ohio that Killed Michael W. Stevenson
There is nothing that makes me angrier than a preventable accident. This accident could have been prevented had different actions been taken by both the commercial driver and Mr. Stevenson. However, despite whatever acts Mr. Stevenson could or could not have taken, I am more concerned with the acts of the commercial driver. This is not a matter of blaming the big guys. It is justice. Even if we assume Mr. Stevenson did something wrong; his wrong cost him his life. What did this accident cost the commercial driver?
This accident reminds me of an extreme case a few years back in Oklahoma. In that case, a man was speeding and under the influence of alcohol when a semi-truck pulled in front of the man and killed him on impact. In that case, the commercial driver tried to point to the deceased’s negligence of driving under the influence as the sole cause of death. However, the people of Oklahoma realized that while the dead driver was in the wrong for driving intoxicated, the commercial driver was also in the wrong for cutting off another vehicle. In essence, the people determined that the commercial insurance provider should not be let off the hook simply because the other party happened to be under the influence. As a result, the deceased’s family received the compensation they needed to weather the impending storm.
Here, we need to look at the commercial employer and determine if the debilitating mechanical issue was preventable. Accidents are caused every day that would have been prevented had the vehicles been adequately repaired and maintained. I understand some mechanical issues will occur regardless of preventive measures taken; however, it is very difficult to justify a commercial vehicle breaking down in the middle of a major highway. The truck should never have been there, and this man should never have been killed.
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