Fatal Columbus Truck Accident Caused By Trucker Negligence Not Backed Up Traffic

Two people are dead because a truck driver failed to keep a proper look out for what was going on in front of him on I-70 in Columbus. Two families are now forever broken because of what appears to be the negligence of the semi 18 wheeler operator Tony D Smith.

Diana L Schwab of Beavercreek and Robin S. Jones operating separate cars were killed in the tractor trailor wreck. Hopefully they never saw it coming. But who really knows. It’s sad very sad. What’s troubling is that the article reporting on the crash by the Columbus Dispatch focused on the Ohio Depatment of Transportation’s plan to quickly remove non-fatal motor vehicle crashes from the highway quickly so traffic does not back up. I guess the plan did not work here. I’m wondering why they did not focus on truck accident safety.

The Facts of the Truck Car Crash

Traffic was backing up from a crash on I-70 eastbound. Apparently Ms Schwab and Ms Jones were slowing their cars . At that time truck driver Tony Smith failed to slow down enough and hit a jeep, then hit two cars and another truck. That truck was knocked into another car. The first two cars contained Ms Schwab and Ms Jones. It was reported the the Franklin County police stated that semi driver Tony Smith failed to notice the cars slowing.

Then there was extensive commentary how ODOT rolled out a plan in April to get the road cleared faster. Here is the link to the article http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/05/09/fatal-crash-underscores-backuprisks.html titled Fatal Crash on I-70 Underscores Back up Risks.
In my mind it underscores the risks of distracted driving by a truck driver.

In fact here is a comment to the article. It’s chilling.

“I was in that backup, crash happened about a half-mile in front of me. The truck driver I was talking with had talked to the trucker that Smith passed just moments before the crash said Smith was texting. One other thing. In the west bound lanes, I noticed a late30’s-early 40’s woman with short dark hair driving a silver SUV/crossover about 30-35 mph in the inside lane. She had her phone out the driver’s window in BOTH hands and was shooting video while looking at the backup. I don’t know who was driving, but it **** sure wasn’t her. This kind of reckless stupidity, on both Smith and the woman’s parts, are what kill or maim innocent people. The mobile shutdown app on newer phones needs to be universal on all phones. If you need to text or call someone, get off of the road!”

So if this comment is accurate the headline should read: Texting Druck Driver Kills Two Women

Oh yes the victims. At the end of the story in the Columbus Dispatch there was brief mention of who these two ladies were .

“Regarding the victims, Schwab was a well-known amateur golfer in the Dayton area who was headed to the home of her daughter, Carey Ker, in Gahanna to leave her dog, Lucky, there while she took a golfing trip to New Jersey. Lucky fled the accident scene yesterday but was found last night.

Jones was a married mother of three who owned Robin’s Nest Professional Nail Care in London in Madison County. She was studying at Nationwide Beauty Academy in Columbus, according to her Facebook page. Her family could not be reached last night.”

Certainly their lives were so much more. So much more.The grief of this loss will last a lifetime.

Truamatic loss is such a tragedy. If it was caused negligently it is called wrongful death in the law.But if the driver was texting the conduct is more than negligent it’s reckless and wanton. Truck safety is implicated here. Not the back up of traffic. That’s why we have R.C. 4511.21. Because we know that people stop in front of us traveling down the highways. Everyone but especially truckers need to respect and follow the law.

Report from 10tv Columbus with video

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration: A Analysis of Fatal Truck Crashes


We have a great truck accident safety resource right here in Ohio in Attorney Michael Leizerman

By Anthony Castelli Attorney

I can’t help but wonder who this trucker was driving for and the safety record of the company. I did not see it reported.The police report should show it and the DOT #. I have a hunch.