OCONEE COUNTY, South Carolina—Chloe Noelle Hietala, 20, was killed in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of South Highway 11 and Greer Road near Westminster, South Carolina, around 9:45 a.m. on September 12, 2022.
According to initial reports, Hietala was traveling east on Greer Road when she entered the intersection of South Highway 11 and was struck by a truck. Hietala passed away from blunt force trauma due to injuries sustained from the crash.
Although Hietala’s death has been ruled an accident at this time, an investigation into the crash is still ongoing. No further details were made immediately available.
Further investigation will be needed to determine who is ultimately responsible for this crash
The details that have been released about this terrible accident are sparse, and many might assume that a 20-year-old could have been distracted while driving and caused the crash. However, that simply may not be the case here. In fact, further investigation is needed to decide the cause of the crash before any determination of fault can be made.
All drivers are supposed to remain vigilant on the road, including semi-truck drivers. Arguably, semi-truck drivers have more of a reason to drive safely simply due to the massive amount of weight of a semi-truck and its ability to kill during an accident.
In this instance, the semi-truck driver may have been negligent in exercising his or her duty to drive safely. The semi-truck driver could have been distracted while driving and failed to see Hietala enter the intersection, or the driver could have failed to stop at a stop sign or red light and struck Hietala. Although I am not certain that the semi-truck driver was negligent, I am advocating for an independent investigation into the cause of the crash to determine whether that theory of causation may be a possibility.
If the truck driver was negligent and Hietala was killed in an accident that could have been prevented, then Hietala’s family may want to seek answers from the truck driver and commercial trucking company. After all, it is likely the truck driver was employed by a larger company at the time of the crash. Commercial trucking companies are also responsible for hiring good drivers and providing their drivers with training to teach them how to drive safely and avoid collisions. If the trucking company had failed in any of its duties, Hietala’s family might have a claim against the trucking company.
To sort through all the details of the crash and obtain more answers, Hietala’s family will likely need the help of an attorney experienced in bringing claims against semi-truck drivers and their employers.