When a truck driver gets behind the wheel of a semi-trailer, they take on the responsibility to drive safely and carefully. This responsibility is intended to protect the other drivers on the road; all too often, when it is broken, drivers of smaller vehicles must pay the price. A recent case, however, shows that other truckers are just as at-risk in a tractor-trailer accident.
The accident occurred on an Ohio highway in the early morning hours. The driver of a 2007 Volvo tractor-trailer had pulled to the side of US 24 for unknown reasons. Though the vehicle was mostly on the shoulder of the road, authorities say it was still about one foot inside the lane of fast-moving traffic.
As the Volvo was parked on the side of the road, a second semi approached in the same lane, this one a 2006 Freightliner. The Freightliner struck the Volvo from behind.
The impact ruptured the fuel tank on one of the vehicles, starting a fire that soon engulfed both vehicles. The driver of the Volvo was standing outside his vehicle at the time of the collision. He escaped the accident with only a leg injury, which was caused by flying debris. The driver of the Freightliner, unfortunately, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police are still investigating the scene. They have cited the driver of Volvo for parking in the roadway. It isn't clear whether any further charges will be filed for his part in the fatal collision.
Regardless of the criminal charges filed in a specific case, the victims of car accidents have the right to file civil charges to seek compensation for their losses. Civil cases often have a lower standard of culpability, meaning civil charges are sometimes easier to prove than criminal charges.
Source: The Times Bulletin, "Fiery US 24 crash claims one" No Author Given, Oct. 29, 2013