Driver slams into truck stopped on Valley freeway, killed

11/14/12 - A Valley freeway was closed overnight after a driver was killed in a traffic accident.
Department of Public Safety Officer Richard Bottoms said a box truck had stopped in one of the lanes on Interstate 10 near State Route 143 after a tire went flat.

The driver and passenger got out of the truck to wait for help.

The driver of an SUV was unable to avoid hitting the truck blocking the highway lane and then hit a concrete barrier.

The driver, a man in his 40s, died at the scene, Bottoms said.

Neither man from the box truck was hurt.

Bottoms said it didn't appear the driver of the SUV had time to brake and avoid the crash.

The accident remains under investigation and Bottoms said the County Attorney would determine whether charges would be filed.

Clearly, legal claims will arise.  But who is at fault?

The truck driver who got the flat tire and stopped in the travel lane, or the SUV driver who ran into the back of him?

It is important to know that this occurred at night.  The darkness reduces perception time
And, there is a certain amount of time that is needed to perceive and react to a dangerous condition.  In darkness, this time is longer.

There are a few facts that need to be known here, but namely, what if any lights were still on the stopped truck?

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved