Over the Fourth of July Weekend, Starke County teen Brittany Crase died in a tragic big rig – car collision at the intersection of County Road 200 North and County Road 500 West in Pulaski County. Brittany was not driving. She was one of three passengers in a 1995 Dodge Intrepid driven by her friend, Ashley Lovins, 18, of North Judson. Lovins was airlifted to a Fort Wayne hospital from the accident site; the other two passengers were also taken to nearby hospitals for medical care. Brittany Chase had just graduated from North Judson-San Pierre High School this spring. She was 18 years old. What Happened to Cause This Semi –Truck Crash? ThePulaski County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the cause of this truck wreck. So far, the Pulaski Sheriff has reported to the media that the semitrailer was trying to turn onto County Road 500 West, from eastbound County Road 200 North, when the fatal crash happened. The professional truck driver Randall Mitchell, 62 (who lives in the Winamac area), has reportedly told police that he checked for traffic several times coming toward him and from the rear. The truck driver says he did not see Brittany’s vehicle as it was heading toward him on County Road 200 North. Professional truck drivers are required to maintain 360 degrees of awareness around their tractor-trailer rigs. Why did he not see the car? No word yet on whether or not anyone was speeding. No word yet on whether or not drugs or alcohol played a part in this event. Nothing reported on sleep deprivation, highway hypnosis, road conditions, mechanical failures, or any of the other usual suspects in semi-truck crashes. There’s simply nothing yet on why this wreck happened last week, and why Brittany died. What we do know is a young life was lost in a tragic crash. We also know that professional truck drivers with proper skills and training are in the best position to prevent crashes from occurring. Truck-Car Collisions Are Known for Their Fatalities While Brittany Chase died at the scene, big rig driver Randall Mitchell was not injured. As we’ve discussed before, this is not a surprising result when you consider a collision between a 3500 lb. car and an 80,000+ pound semi-truck, both of which are moving at some level of speed. Commercial trucks on our roadways may be a necessity for the marketplace, moving goods and products across the country – but they are a notorious danger for those vehicles sharing the roads with them. Odds of a fatality in any semi-truck crash are high. Given the high risk posed by semi-trucks, it is critically important that the motor carriers who employ them take steps to ensure that the professional truck drivers working for them are well-trained and are consistently complying with the trucking safety regulations. Be careful out there.
Winamac’s Brittany Crase, 18, Dies in Pulaski County Big Rig Crash Over July Fourth Weekend