Murdock, MN — A local news report released earlier this week said that there was a serious accident in Murdock between two big rig trucks that left one of the drivers injured. The accident happened around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, September 29, 2015 and the injured trucker was identified as Michael Peterson, 32 years old.
The second truck driver involved, who wasn’t injured, was identified as 54-year-old Bradley Smith.
According to what’s in the news, Bradley Smith was driving his semi-truck along a private road that morning when he tried to turn onto westbound Highway 12 and then quickly make a left turn onto 100th Avenue Southeast.
As he pulled onto Highway 12, though, it looks like Smith pulled into the path of Michael Peterson, who was driving his semi-truck west as well.
Peterson tried to swerve around Smith to miss him, but hit Smith’s truck and went off the highway, rolling over in a ditch. The accident left Peterson with injuries and he was taken to a hospital in Willmar, though it doesn’t appear Smith was harmed at all. This is still being investigated.
Map of the Accident
View from the Road
The first thing that sticks out to me here is that the first semi-truck driver, the one that tried to merge onto the highway, probably didn’t yield to the second trucker. Why is that? Well, if my memory serves me, I believe the first trucker (the one who wasn’t harmed) was a local resident while the other driver was from a town about 30 miles away.
The old saying goes that “most accidents happen within 5 miles of your home,” so don’t get too comfortable with your driving routine and always be on the lookout. Is it possible that something like that happened here? Was this trucker possibly following muscle memory and just pulled out onto the highway and tried to make the turn because that’s what he always does? I don’t want to get lost in the weeds here by speculating, but let me tell you a story about one of guys who works at our firm.
In his neighborhood, there’s a four-way stop that divides two of the subdivisions. Even though east-west traffic clearly has a stop sign, he sees drivers running it all the time because there’s hardly any traffic on the north-south street. I didn’t believe it until he showed me a video of a driver, clearly on autopilot, roll through a stop sign despite other cars having the right of way. It was obvious that this driver was steeped in his routine and wasn’t paying attention.
Maybe that’s what happened here. Perhaps there are details that we’re missing, but it sure sounds like that first semi-truck failed to yield and caused the other driver to wreck.
— Grossman Law Offices