Thomas County, Kansas — One person was killed after a semi-truck exiting westbound failed to yield to oncoming traffic and pulled into the path of his vehicle. The man, identified as Yancy Sowers, was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to reports, Sowers was driving a 1992 Ford LN8 and collided with the cattle trailer attached to the semi. The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon.
No further updates have been provided.
Thoughts on motorist safety and truckers’ duty to protect the public
What a terrible crash. You can be doing everything right, following road rules, and someone else’s negligent actions can prove fatal. Anytime this happens, the party at fault needs to give an account to the surviving family for the anguish they have caused them. This is especially true for truck drivers, who, according to the CDL handbook, are held to a different standard of conduct than other highway users.
Truck drivers operate in a safety-sensitive function, subject to special qualifications, training, knowledge, skills, medical requirements, character and background investigations, license monitoring, and annual reviews. If these rules cannot be followed, they should not be driving.
We do not know exactly what happened here. We do know that failing to yield is a common cause of trucking crashes and is always unacceptable. Some truckers lack the experience or training to operate a semi-truck in intersections where quick reactions save lives. Commercial trucks accelerate slower than cars, and truckers with less practice may not slow down in time to prevent a collision. Or, they may misjudge the time it will take to reach proper road speeds. Other truckers simply disregard basic traffic laws, speed past the limit, and drive distractedly. This is never okay, and these truck drivers should be vetted better by the trucking companies that employ them.
Trucking companies have a responsibility to motorists to place safe drivers on the roadways and to ensure trucks are in excellent condition before they hit the streets. This includes vetting their drivers for red flags, training them on safety protocols, and inspecting and keeping maintenance on trucks frequently (ensuring mirrors are installed correctly). When companies fail to keep other motorists safe, they share fault for the loss of life that occurred.
When crashes such as this occur, the driver, and perhaps the company, need to answer for their mistakes. The surviving family deserves answers and justice for any wrongdoing that led to their loss.
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.