Trucker Jailed After Fatal Crash on I-15
Any type of collision can turn into a serious accident when a commercial vehicle is involved.
As much as drivers, trucking groups, and safety advocates work to keep the roads secure, there is no way to completely eliminate the possibility of an accident altogether. When these accidents do occur, it is always tragic.
Some accidents are worse than others, with the scene looking worse than it is. Unfortunately, some crashes are fatal and remind everyone of just how hazardous heavy trucks can be unless they’re controlled properly.
A three-vehicle crash occurred on Interstate 15 according to Idaho State Police. The incident was just south of Idaho Falls, and 59-year-old truck driver Dirk Johnson was arrested and booked in Bingham County Jail after the accident happened.
The crash occurred during the evening just before 5 PM while the trucker was piloting an empty gravel truck heading north in a construction zone. Two lanes which usually carry only northbound traffic were carrying both northbound and southbound as a result of the construction.
The construction zone and rerouting led to sluggish movement and traffic jams. Reports state that Johnson was unable to slow down in time upon arriving at the construction zone, and veered into oncoming traffic.
The trucker struck a southbound Dodge 2500 pickup truck pulling a trailer with a horse inside. The trucker hit the Dodge head-on then hit the trailer. Driver Shirley Williams was taken by ground ambulance to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Ohio falls where she tragically passed away due to her injuries. The horse she was transporting was also killed in the accident.
The impact caused the gravel truck to hit another vehicle, a Nissan Maxima, that had been driving behind the trucker on I-15. The driver, 44-year-old Mark Weidner of Pocatello, escaped without injury. It was reported that all three drivers were wearing their safety belts during the accident.
The two lanes in the construction zone were closed for around six hours after the crash, according to police. The authorities are still investigating the crash and were assisted at the scene by the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Department as well as the Idaho Transportation Department.