Earlier this week, a multiple vehicle crash on an I-95 overpass in Camden County, Georgia resulted in the fatalities of three Florida residents. The crash involved a chain reaction and according to the Georgia State Patrol, the fast series of events began with a tractor-trailer that was allegedly traveling too fast when it hit a passenger car which then hit a small SUV. The passenger car ended up under the truck and the SUV ended up hitting the truck.
The SUV driver and those trapped in the passenger vehicle under the tractor-trailer all died in this crash. Several other motor vehicles were also involved in this accident which resulted in additional injuries to four people. This chain reaction crash was not the first accident in the area that day. The traffic in the vicinity was traveling more slowly due to an earlier situation that involved another tractor-trailer that had hit a median and burned after losing a wheel. Fortunately, no one was injured in the earlier crash.
Undercarriage tractor-trailer crashes often result in serious injury and death, as occurred in this tragic accident. This dangerous situation occurs when a smaller vehicle ends up underneath the high-standing carriage of a large truck. Smaller vehicles, including large passenger cars, can slide beneath the tractor-trailer either from the rear or sides. In one report, it was estimated that over 300 people lose their lives in this type of crash each year in the United States. Under the regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), these vehicles are required to have rear guards to avoid other vehicles making their way under the body of the truck in a rear-end collision or other type of crash. In addition, these regulations require reflective devices that help other vehicles become more aware of their presence on the road at night or in bad weather conditions.
Vehicles can become trapped under the truck’s large profile for a variety of reasons. Often these accidents occur when the truck stops suddenly or when there is a multiple car accident in which cars and smaller vehicles are pushed into the back of the truck in front or are pushed out their lane of travel. Sometimes weather can play a role in these crashes, when there is fog or rain and visibility is impaired or breaking is made more difficult. Trucking companies are required to make sure that their vehicles have all the safety devices in good working order on their vehicles and drivers should inspect their trucks regularly for any possible maintenance issues with these devices as well.
The other factor in the Camden County crash may have been speed. Often we see trucks speeding on the highway and there is no doubt that a speeding truck cannot stop easily when something occurs on the road that is unexpected. Truck drivers can lose control of their vehicle and involve many other motor vehicles in the vicinity due to their size and weight. If you have been harmed in a truck accident, it is very important to get information about whether others are at fault for your injuries. To ensure that you protect your rights, contact me, Charles Scholle, personally at my law firm and I will provide a free consultation to help you determine whether you have a potential claim against the trucking company that owns the vehicle as well as others involved.