The photograph showed an eighteen-wheeler that had crushed a smaller vehicle, and the caption read:
This should be the image stuck in your head anytime you think about whipping over in front of an 18 wheeler and slamming on your brakes. We can not stop as easy as you think. If you will look close, that used to be a 4 door chevy pick up.
There was not much to back the implication that the driver of the vehicle had invited the violent collision, but the post proved popular in the weeks after it was first shared regardless. However, the image dated back to at least 2016, and it had made the rounds at least once before when someone shared the image with a similar warning:
The space in front of a semi was put there by the driver to have a safety cushion, not for your convenience to slide on in there. I hope all my friends see/read this, and think twice next time before you want to cut off a big truck. Your funeral could be next.
Details differed across various versions of this story, but overall the photograph was shared as a warning to drivers not to operate vehicles carelessly in the presence of tractor-trailers.
The Georgia State Patrol say a fatal wreck [in September 2016] involved four tractor-trailers and a small pickup truck, killing two people.
The crash happened shortly after 6 p.m. on Interstate 20 eastbound in Carroll County, near Georgia 113.
GSP says a tractor-trailer ran into the back of a second tractor-trailer. That second tractor-trailer then a drove over a silver pickup, crushing it, and ran into a third tractor-trailer. GSP said the third tractor-trailer hit a fourth one.
Not long after the photograph appeared on Facebook with a misleading backstory, a trucking site reiterated that the driver of the mangled pickup truck was not suspected of having cut off the semi’s driver:
Two people were killed in the mangled passenger vehicle, but there is no evidence that the tractor trailer was cut off. According to previously reported information, the pickup truck was stopped in traffic when it was struck from behind by a tractor trailer that was unable to stop in time.
Although this photograph does show the aftermath of a fatal crash in which two people were killed when a tractor-trailer struck their vehicle, that accident was not the result of drivers failing to yield to semi trucks. By all accounts, the crash was the result of a rear-ended tractor-trailer, which subsequently drove over the Chevy and killed its passengers.