Gary Whitledge, 66, was seriously injured after a collision with a tractor trailer Sunday afternoon on Highway 61.
Whitledge was driving his 2002 Ford northbound just before the crash. He approached the intersection of Highway 61 and Missouri 177 at the same time as a 2000 Peterbilt tractor trailer, driven by Phillip Ray, 31. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Ray pulled the tractor trailer into the path of Whitledge, who was unable to avoid the crash.
Whitledge was seriously injured and taken to St. Francis Medical Center for emergency treatment. Ray was uninjured and was able to drive his big rig from the scene.
While the initial crash report states that Ray pulled in front of Whitledge, it does not describe the details leading up to this Missouri tractor trailer injury accident. If the intersection was controlled, who had the right of way? How fast were the vehicles going? Did Ray make a negligent maneuver in pulling out in front of Whitledge? All these questions will need to be answered by further investigation.
Investigations into tractor trailer crashes can last a long time, depending on the severity of the crash. The driving logs of the truck driver are usually investigated to see if any motor carrier violations occurred. An accident reconstruction is also sometimes performed to try and determine liability. During this period, insurance companies will often try and contact those involved for statements. It is advisable to crash victims to consult a Missouri personal injury lawyer to learn your rights before talking to insurance representatives. Many times they will be looking for ways to lower their damage payment or even eliminate it entirely.