Marion County, Oregon – – A collision between a car and a box truck in rural Marion County near St. Paul on Saturday evening has resulted in the deaths of two women, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident unfolded shortly after 5:30 p.m. when deputies responded to a collision at the intersection of McKay Road Northeast and Case Road Northeast. At the scene, they discovered a Buick sedan and a refrigerated commercial box truck had collided head-on.
The Buick driver, Lisa Boylan from Portland, was declared deceased at the scene. The passenger in the Buick, identified as Joan Rohrer, also from Portland, was transported to a Portland hospital by Life Flight but succumbed to her injuries.
The box truck driver was taken to Newberg Hospital and is expected to recover from his injuries.
Based on the preliminary investigation, it was determined that the Buick was traveling east on McKay Road NE while the box truck was heading west. The box truck crossed into the oncoming lane, resulting in a head-on collision with the Buick.
Answers Needed on Cause of Head-on Collision with Box-Truck that Killed Two in Passenger Vehicle Top of Form
A young father and two children were traveling in a 2001 Ford Taurus in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma, when a 2015 Peterbilt tractor-trailer swerved into their lane of traffic, causing a head-on collision. All three occupants of the Ford were killed, and a young mother was left broken. Liability was clear. The trucking company and driver were at fault for the crash. The deceased were wholly innocent victims of another’s negligence.
Unfortunately, we handle these types of accidents too often, where a commercial vehicle veers off course and runs into a driver’s lane from the opposite direction, injuring or killing them on impact. In 2021, 4,714 people died in large truck crashes, with 68 percent of those deaths accounting for passenger vehicle occupants (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies must have more safety procedures in place to ensure these tragic head-on collision accidents do not continue to happen.
While many facts are still unclear and unknown, according to the news release, the box truck driver crossed the center divider and crashed head-on with the Buick. What’s left to uncover is why the truck driver did so. While many factors can come into play, we have found many of these crashes are caused by fatigue or distraction. Drivers are sometimes under pressure from their employers, the trucking companies, to meet delivery deadlines without regard to safety. This encourages drivers to drive beyond legal limits or drive when they should be sleeping.
Other times, they are distracted by cell phones or other devices. In fact, cell phone use has become such a big problem that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued specific rules with harsh penalties for commercial operators using cell phones. The rules are simple: No Reaching, No Holding, No dialing, No texting, No Reading.
Complying with this rule extends beyond the driver to the employer, the first line of defense to safe driving. When trucking companies fail to implement and train drivers on safe driving practices, accidents happen. A trucking company cannot disregard its duty to the motoring public by putting untrained drivers on our roadways and then escape liability when an inevitable accident occurs.
A detailed investigation of this crash will need to be conducted by trained professionals to determine what rules were broken leading up to the crash.
The first step to establish liability following a truck accident is to inspect the scene and the vehicles involved. Physical evidence at the scene will provide information on actions taken moments prior to impact. Inspection of the vehicle will provide an opportunity to download electronic data detailing braking, speed, steering wheel movement, and other information. With this data, an accident reconstructionist can recreate the accident scenario.
Gathering relevant information from third-party companies will also be important. Phone records, driving history, logs of hours driven, past performance, etc. will provide a clear picture of who was driving the truck. Was this a one-time offender or a driver with a demonstrated history of negligence?
Information on the employer will also be relevant. What training was provided? Were there rules and policies on cell phone use, driving beyond legal limits, or impairment? Trucking companies do not provide this information willingly.
The family of the deceased, like all families who suffer the unexpected loss of a loved one, deserve full transparency and an opportunity to hold all wrongdoers responsible.
The Ammons Law Firm represents clients nationwide in catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation, with extensive experience in complex auto/tire defect and commercial vehicle cases.
Disclaimer: This post is not legal advice. Information contained in this blog was compiled from third-party sources or is the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if false or misleading information is contained in this post.