MORRISON COUNTY, Minnesota- 55-year-old Lashel Dawn Oliver was killed after her vehicle collided with a semi-truck on Highway 27 around 8:46 a.m.
According to early reports, Oliver was heading east in a 2016 Hyundai Tucson and collided with a 2003 Kenworth semi-truck that was also heading east for an unknown reason.
The driver of the semi-truck was not injured. Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash, and the airbag was deployed in the Hyundai but not in the truck. Authorities confirmed that alcohol was not a factor in the collision.
No additional information was immediately available.
Thoughts on the fatal rear-end crash on Highway 27
While we don’t have enough information at this time to identify the cause or determine fault, it is important in fatal accidents to hold judgment until further information is made available. Often, this requires an independent investigation that considers factors outside the obvious causes traditionally identified in an initial investigation.
The first possible cause we would want to explore is the conduct of the semi-truck driver. Any evidence that they were engaged in any form of distracted driving (smartphone use, use of technology in the truck at an inappropriate time, etc.) or negligent driving (speeding, failing to check blind spots, failure to use turn signals, etc.) may allow Ms. Oliver’s family to recover against the truck driver for her death.
We would also want to look into the condition of the semi-truck. Were all the lights on the vehicle working so that Ms. Oliver would have noticed if the driver used their turn signal to indicate a lane change? Were there any mechanical failures that occurred which may have caused the collision, and that could have been prevented with routine maintenance? Truck driver employers are responsible for ensuring their vehicles are safe to operate, and any evidence that the truck here was not in safe working order may provide Ms. Oliver’s family an opportunity to recover against the driver’s employer for such negligence.
We do not mean to assign fault where no fault is due. However, a woman lost her life, and the family should know if there were causes outside what is immediately apparent. People will assume Ms. Oliver caused this accident; however, we have learned that there are often latent causes that contribute to a seemingly straightforward crash, and those causes must be identified.