When a student of a public or private school system dies suddenly in Indiana, it is an accepted practice for the superintendent of the system to make an announcement to staff, students and families, as well as to provide counseling services for those within the system who feel the need to talk about their feelings in response to the tragedy.

Unfortunately, another such announcement became necessary last week in Plymouth, Indiana, when a high school student died from injuries sustained in a crash with a semitrailer at the end of May. Adding to the tragedy, the same accident had already claimed the lives of both his parents, who died at the scene.

The student was traveling in a westward direction with his parents in a pickup truck west of Toledo on the Ohio Turnpike. His two sisters, ages 18 and 9, were also traveling west in a different vehicle, along with a 19-year-old passenger. For reasons that are unknown, an eastbound semi-trailer crossed into the westbound lane, striking the pickup truck. Two of the three occupants of the pickup, as well as the driver of the semi, died immediately.

The trailer that the truck was hauling came loose as the semi crossed the median. It hit the other vehicle containing the student’s two sisters despite the 18-year-old driver’s attempt to avoid it by swerving. The two passengers went to the hospital with minor injuries, while the driver remained unhurt.

A trucking accident has the power to rip families apart. Those who bear the scars from such a collision may find it helpful to consult an attorney.