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Semi Driver Seriously Injured in I-65 Accident

Jason Reese

The statistics tell us that drivers of semi-trucks are much less likely to get injured in accidents with other motor vehicles. This is due to the huge size disparity between 18-wheelers and most other automobiles. Unfortunately, truck drivers are still at risk for injury while on the road. More or less living on the road, they spend much more time behind the wheel. They drive heavy-duty vehicles whose weight makes it difficult to stop and prone to tip-over. Semi-trucks require a more frequent and consistent level of maintenance in order to keep drivers safe.

While the cause of Tuesday’s crash on I-65 is still under investigation, it is a reminder that our truck drivers are not immune to potentially life-changing accidents. The southbound lanes of the freeway were closed for five hours after a tanker trailer collided with the rear end of another semi. This appears to be a secondary crash, occurring in traffic resulting from another accident.

Indiana State Police responded to a crash reported after 1 p.m. near Columbus. A previous and separate accident had slowed traffic on southbound I-65. In the midst of this traffic, one semi-truck rear-ended another after being unable to slow and stop in time to avoid the accident. A third vehicle was sideswiped in the accident as well.

36-year-old Shawn B. Beeman was driving the tanker. After the collision, he had to be removed from his vehicle by the Columbus Fire Department. He was initially taken to Columbus Regional Hospital but was transferred to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with a suspected head injury. The other semi-driver, Patrick Russell, was uninjured, as was the driver of the third vehicle.

Rear-End Collisions Are Most Common Secondary Crashes

Secondary crashes are often rear-end collisions, just as in this case. Slowed traffic and collision debris on the road can catch drivers off-guard. Whether the accident is caused by a driver in front stopping suddenly and unexpectedly or by the driver behind following too closely or driving too quickly to stop (or some combination of the two), both drivers are at risk of injury. Even minor rear-end collisions can leave drivers with serious head, neck, or back injuries.

It’s important to remember that slowed or stopped traffic does not present a good opportunity to pay less attention to the road. I’d guess that most drivers have taken a moment of stopped traffic to adjust radios, check a map, take a drink, or used a smartphone app. For obvious reasons, this can be dangerous. Your safety and the safety of those around you rely on all drivers staying vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

In the case of a rear-end collision, the driver of the rear collision is often found liable for the accident; however, there are many instances where this is not true. If you have been injured in a rear-end collision and believe the other driver was at fault, call Wagner Reese today at (888) 204-8440. During our free initial consultation, we will listen to you and provide information based on our decades of experience litigating automobile accident cases in Indiana.

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