It’s hard to believe that no one died in this horrific tractor-trailer crash. I’m letting you know before you watch this, because otherwise the video of a woman trapped in a burning car might be too disturbing to watch. A wreck like this can happen in the blink of an eye. Hopefully not to you.
You can see the tractor trailer barreling through a construction zone and ramming into a line of cars like pin balls. To the left of the screen, you can see a car erupt into flames. It had been crushed against the center barricade. The driver was not able to get the door open as a fireball shot 10 feet in the air billowing black smoke.
The quick thinking of fellow motorists and a nearby construction crew fortunately saved her life. And somehow the woman suffered only minor cuts and bruises. So much for the age old insurance company argument that only big collisions can cause big injuries and small crashes yield minor injuries, right?
A woman and other people could have lost their lives. What caused this horrible crash? Bad brakes –and bad driving.
The tractor-trailer driver was cited for operating an out of service vehicle. Police are still investigating, but you’ve got to ask why a dangerous semi was even on the road? Is any one paying monitoring safety issues like this one?
Special Agents who work for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are supposed to inspect commercial motor vehicles and write up violations in Form MCS 63, the Driver Equipment Compliance Check, to remove the vehicles from the highway.
Certainly the truck driver was aware that his brakes were not responding adequately before this happened.
The trucking company should be held liable for all damages it caused by failing to maintain the truck and inspect it for problems. It should be fined and cited for operating a vehicle taken out of service. And worse, the company should not be allowed to put any tractor trailers on the road until it complies with federal and state laws.
From the time the driver presses the brake, a semi takes 20 to 40 percent farther to stop than a car — assuming its brakes are good. Poorly maintained brakes take much longer to stop a heavy truck. And the 18 wheeler involved here was loaded with cargo.
Far too many trucking companies have a profits before safety attitude. They force too many drivers to drive too heavy trucks too fast.
There can be over 15 million commercial trucks driving on our highways at any given time. There is no reason why over 100,000 people should be injured or killed each year in truck accidents.
I hope a lawsuit is filed to put the trucking industry on notice that it and other companies must clean up their acts. We are handling a similar case to this one now.
Berenson Injury Law has helped victims of tractor-trailer and car crashes for 36 years. Our law offices have represented numerous people injured in these collisions and just settled a vigorously contested lawsuit for several million dollars.
When hired quickly after a wreck, a personal injury lawyer can send accident reconstruction experts to the scene to take photographs and measurements, preserve critical evidence, and take statements from the police, tow truck drivers, EMT’s and eyewitnesses.
We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to immediately investigate 18 wheeler crashes and build strong cases against the negligent trucking company and its driver.