GREGG COUNTY, Texas — Linda Blaney, a 68-year-old Shreveport, La. woman, was tragically killed Jan. 7 in a 2-vehicle accident on Interstate 20 near Kilgore.
According to state troopers, a 2021 Kenworth tractor-trailer struck Blaney’s 2004 Mazda Tribute in the inside lane of eastbound I-20, where it was reportedly disabled from a previous single-vehicle wreck.
Upon impact, the Mazda caught fire and became fully engulfed in flames.
Blaney was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Authorities did not report whether the tractor-trailer driver, 40-year-old Jeremy Ragle, of Emory, suffered any injuries.
An investigation into the fatal crash is ongoing, and no additional information about factors that may have contributed to either accident has been released.
Commentary on the Fatal Car Crash that Claimed the Life of Linda Blaney
Holders of commercial driver’s licenses must protect their fellow travelers from the risks posed by their vehicles. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, while a mid-size SUV weighs no more than 4,000. This weight disparity creates a serious risk of harm for all drivers. I am amazed at the number of clients I have represented who passed in the accident while the semi-driver walks away unscathed.
My attention is drawn to two reported facts. First, I am concerned the driver of the semi struck Ms. Blaney. While not reported, I suspect the semi-driver failed to see the stranded vehicle. Was the driver distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol? If so, did the driver’s employer have a policy in place to prevent such acts from occurring? These are the types of questions that need to be answered.
The second fact I find troubling is the post-collision fire. Post-collision fires are highly dangerous and far more common than most folks realize. My firm’s focus is product defect law which takes me across the nation investigating accidents like this one. I am amazed at the number of serious injuries that could have been prevented had slight changes been implanted during the design process. It is often as simple as the fuel line’s placement in post-collision fires.
I offer my deepest condolences to Ms. Blaney’s family during this difficult time of grief. May you find peace on the difficult road ahead.
Disclaimer: All information contained within this post was compiled from public sources or constitutes the author’s opinion. Please inform us immediately if you identify any false or misleading information.