A young woman from Rosemount, Minnesota, was tragically killed yesterday in a crash on Interstate 80 in Omaha, Nebraska. The driver of a semi truck failed to slow down for slow traffic and rear ended the Toyota Prius in which the woman was an occupant, according to the police report.

Joan Ocampo-Yambing was living out her faith as a 19-year-old student at Creighton University in Omaha, according to news reports. She was involved in campus ministry and excelled in her studies as a computer science major, becoming a dean’s fellow.

She and three friends were traveling westbound on I-80 yesterday in a Toyota Prius when they encountered slow traffic. They were just past the 84th Street overpass when the driver of a Peterbilt semi truck, also traveling westbound on I-80, “failed to notice that traffic had started to slow,” and he rear-ended the Prius. All four of the students in the Prius were injured. Ms. Ocampo-Yambing, who had been a passenger in the back seat, did not survive her injuries.

Also involved in the crash were a Chrysler Sebring convertible and another commercial truck, this one pulling a trailer. The occupants of the Sebring were pinned inside the car, underneath the Peterbilt semi.

The three surviving Creighton students are Demetra Arvanitakis, of Overland Park, Kansas, who is being treated for skull fractures, a severe concussion and a back injury; Madalene Streichen, of Tulsa Oklahoma, who is being treated for a facial fracture and a head laceration; and William Tavis, of St. Louis, Missouri, who is being treated for facial fractures and lacerations.

What Causes a Truck Driver to Not Notice Slow Traffic?

Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman
Minnesota attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman can be contacted at 612-338-0202.

When a commercial truck driver does not notice that traffic is slowing, it can mean that the driver is distracted or fatigued. Distraction can be eating, looking down for something, daydreaming, texting or talking on a cell phone. In these kinds of cases, we carefully inspect the vehicle and take steps to secure copies of cell phone records. Our efforts have helped families get answers and hold wrongdoers accountable. In addition, in some cases where we have proved under the law that it was a “wrongful death“, further injuries have been prevented by getting dangerous drivers off of the road.

Slow Traffic