Any Billings reader who has unexpectedly lost a loved one knows that one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with tragedy is finding the truth behind unanswered questions. News reports often lack critical details, oftentimes because witnesses offer conflicting accounts and police reports may misinterpret the facts. Even a professional accident investigation may draw faulty conclusions from the evidence.

The family of one Montana woman may find themselves in just such an unfortunate position in the wake of a fatal truck crash on January 6 that claimed the life of a 63-year-old Big Timber resident. Reports indicate that the Montana woman was driving a full-size Toyota pickup along a two-lane Oregon highway when she ran into a flatbed tractor-trailer that slowed down ahead of her.

The woman changed lanes to pass the semi truck only to realize that the truck was in the process of making a left turn and exiting the highway. The pickup truck driver swerved back into her lane and crashed into the back of the flatbed trailer.

The pickup truck’s airbags deployed on impact and a passenger in the pickup escaped the accident without injury. The two occupants of the flatbed trailer truck were wearing seatbelts and were not injured. The Montana woman was pronounced dead at the accident scene.

The limited information available at this point may have concerned family members wondering where to turn. Reports leave open questions such as whether driver conduct may have played a role in the accident. It remains unknown whether the semi truck used its turn signal or whether maintenance failures made it impossible for the Montana driver to know that the truck was about to turn.

Critical evidence can easily get lost in the early stages of an accident investigation. Montana residents who have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident may want to consider making it a priority to contact an experienced accident attorney in order to preserve their rights to compensation under the law.

Source: KTVQ, “Big Timber woman killed in Oregon accident,” Dennis Bragg, Jan. 7, 2013