A fiery crash closed part of Interstate 95 in North Carolina recently for hours after a speeding tractor trailer tanker caused a multi vehicle collision. The trucker failed to slow down and observe the lower speed limit going into a work zone. Unable to reduce speed, the driver rear-ended a pick-up truck which was pushed into an SUV. The SUV hit another vehicle that was traveling in front of it.
The tractor trailer continued on and struck a Freightliner tractor trailer. As the two trucks collided, the gas in the tanker combusted as the two hit a third tractor trailer. Finally, the first tractor trailer ran off the road where it caught fire fatally injuring the 68-year-old male driver.
The pick-up truck caught in the wreck contained a family of four who were returning from a Mother’s Day visit in Pennsylvania. The father served in the Navy Munition Command at the Naval Weapons Station, his 32-year-old wife was driving. The couple, along with their children aged one and four, all perished from injuries sustained in the truck accident. The father dealt with underwater mines and had just received orders to be stationed in San Diego.
The three people traveling in the SUV had serious injuries and were taken to UNC Chapel Hill where they were reported to be in stable condition. The drivers of the other tractor trailers were evaluated at the crash scene and then released. The site of the crash was so extensive that police shut down Interstate 95 for almost 12 hours, from mile marker seven in Lumberton, North Carolina to South of the Border in Dillon County, South Carolina. Helicopters were used to transport the injured crash victims to the hospital.
Trucks Represent a Serious Danger on the Roads
There are 1.7 million men and women driving trucks for a living in the United States. A recent article from The New York Times offers insights into the lives of today’s truckers. While driving a truck used to be a typical middle-class job, it is now low paying, grinding work that pays by the mile. Federal regulations allow 11 hours of driving within a 14-hour window which must be followed by 10 hours of rest, putting enormous pressure on drivers to get to their destinations before they are forced to start a rest period. In interviews, drivers describe being stuck in a four-hour traffic jam knowing they are losing four hours of productive driving time. Loading of the tractor trailer is also included in the 14-hour window and every stationary hour is a mile not driven which translates into loss of income for the driver. Financial pressures can lead to unsafe driving practices such as speeding, drowsy driving, or unsafe and improper loading of the truck.
Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Injured Victims of Truck Accidents
If you have been injured in a truck accident that was caused by the negligence of others, you may be entitled to compensation. At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. our truck accident lawyers in Columbia have been successfully representing truck accident victims and their families since 1993. We can advise you as to your legal rights and options. Call 803-929-3600 today to arrange a free initial consultation with no obligations. You can also contact us online. For your convenience we have six offices located throughout South Carolina, and we proudly serve clients in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, and Summerville.