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Head-On Collision on US 421 Claims Life of Greensburg Man

Steve Wagner

On Sunday afternoon, William Minch, Jr. was driving his minivan north on US 421 when his vehicle drifted over the center line and collided with a tractor-trailer. The 30-year-old Minch, of Greensburg, Indiana, was pronounced dead at the scene. John Hobbs, who was driving the Kenworth tractor-trailer, was uninjured.

State police were called to the scene near Napolean just before 3:30 p.m. The investigation is ongoing, but officials say the vehicles hit each other almost directly head-on.

Two Lane Roadways Can Become Dangerous in Seconds

Like many Indiana roadways, US 421 is a two-lane undivided highway. Though traffic may be considerably lighter on some rural highways, the danger is not necessarily lowered. I guarantee we have all had multiple instances where we found our vehicle drifting a few feet for one reason or another. More often than not, we survive that drift.

Two-lane undivided highways increase risk for a couple of major reasons. First, the traffic in the other lane is usually less than 10 feet away, and there is no barrier to prevent contact should one vehicle veer toward another in the opposite lane. Second, the two lanes are traveling toward one another. This almost assures that an accident will be head-on, one of the deadliest types of vehicular accidents. When two automobiles are driving in the same direction with no barrier between, the odds of a head-on collision between the two are almost nonexistent. A sideswipe collision is more common in this case, and so long as there is no rollover or impact with other cars or objects, the likelihood of death is significantly lower.

In short, two lane undivided highways leave no cushion for a driver who becomes distracted or sleepy. It can take less than 3 seconds to drift across the dividing line and hit another vehicle. For these reasons, it’s important to remain vigilant on rural highways, even if the traffic density is very low.

Semis Common on Indiana’s Rural Highways

In Indiana, semis or tractor-trailers are not limited to major interstates. Due to its agricultural economy and its position in the center of the United States, it is common to see large semis on relatively rural roads. This adds another dangerous factor to the equation, as head-on collisions with semis are often fatal. US 421 runs all the way from northern Indiana, through Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, making it a popular route for tractor-trailers carrying cargo from north Midwestern cities to the south (and vice versa).

If a loved one lost his or her life or was seriously injured in a head-on collision or a collision with a semi-truck, the truck accident and wrongful death attorneys at Wagner Reese can help you recover costs for medical bills, lost wages, and more. Call us today for a completely free initial consultation: (888) 204-8440.


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