Collisions with other vehicles can cause fatalities in truck accidents, but sometimes it is only the truck occupants who suffer harm as a result. Early on a recent Saturday morning, a 29-year-old delivery truck driver in Salem, Oregon, reportedly crashed his vehicle into a utility pole. Not only did he lose his life as a result of the collision, but his 17-year-old niece, who was riding with him as a passenger, died as well.

The driver and his wife had recently adopted his niece into their family, which already included three other young special-needs children. Though speed may have been a factor in the crash, the accident remains under investigation, and authorities have yet to identify a specific cause. 

With his niece beside him in the passenger seat, the driver reportedly left the roadway and hit a utility pole after failing to negotiate a curve in the area near Hazelgreen Road Northeast at 80th Avenue Northeast in Salem. The crash occurred in the early morning hours, and no information is available as to the purpose of the trip or the intended destination. 

A resident of the area says the county could mitigate the danger on this particular stretch of road by installing reflective poles to serve as guides and warnings to motorists. He reports several other crashes in the vicinity, including another fatal accident in which a car flipped over into a nearby field last spring. In the meantime, those who have suffered harm in a truck accident, whether as a passenger or driver, may find it helpful to consult an attorney.