In most reports of traffic accidents, excessive speed by one or more of the vehicles involved is cited as a potential cause of the mishap.

Rarely is excessively slow speed cited as a possible cause. A truck accident in Knox County may prove to be the exception to that rule.

According to police, a 62-year-old woman was driving south on U.S. 41 near the Gauger Road intersection when her car struck the rear of a semi tractor-trailer. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the semi was not injured. Police said that the semi was traveling at about 10 miles per hour in the driving lane due to mechanical difficulties. The nature of the malfunction was not disclosed. Police also did not comment on whether any of the truck’s warning lights were flashing. Any vehicle traveling at 10 miles per hour on a federal highway would be considered a traffic hazard.

Many questions must be answered to determine fault for this accident. The nature of the malfunction that slowed the semi is obviously the number one issue. Whether the driver of the semi took any steps to warn other drivers of his predicament is a second question. All over-the-road trucks are required to have a steel bar on the rear of the trailer that can withstand the force of an accident at 35 miles per hour. Was this trailer so equipped? Other questions may arise as police complete their investigation and the surviving family members of the deceased victims consider their legal options.