MADISON COUNTY, Ohio — Ashlee Townsend, 34, tragically died Jan. 5 in a head-on crash with a semi-truck on State Route 38.
Townsend was southbound in a 2007 Dodge Ram pickup truck on State Route 38 at about 11:40 a.m. when she veered left of the center lane and hit a 2020 Freightliner semi-truck head-on.
The 34-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The driver of the semi-truck, who authorities have not identified, was transported to Grant Medical Center with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.
Local law enforcement said both alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors involved in the crash.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the accident and has not released any additional contributing factors.
Commentary on the fatal head-on collision in Paint Township, Wisconsin
I am deeply saddened to learn of this tragic head-on collision that claimed the life of Ms. Ashlee Townsend at the young age of 34-years-old. I extend my commiseration to the family and friends left behind and hope for their solace during this time of trial.
This accident is very serious and will require a detailed investigation to sort through. At first brush, many might conclude this is a highly unfortunate situation caused by inattention or distracted driving. However, in my thirty-year career, I have learned first impressions are rarely the whole story. In this matter specifically, my mind is drawn to the events leading up to the accident. What caused Ms. Townsend to cross left-of-center when a tractor-trailer was approaching.
Under product liability law, auto manufacturers are liable for harm sustained by occupants of vehicles that fail to perform as intended. In this case, it is probable Ms. Townsend's Dodge Ram malfunctioned due to mechanical failure or other causes. With accidents of this nature, it is important to consider all possible scenarios to ensure defective products are removed from our roadways and those left behind find answers to their questions.
Again, I extend my condolences to Ms. Townsend’s family as they navigate this heart-wrenching period of life.
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